back to article German cops hacked in revenge for dad spying on daughter

An infiltration of a German federal security system last year has been traced back to a botched attempt by an unnamed security official to use a Trojan to monitor his daughter's internet usage, Der Spiegel reports. According to the report, a hacker friend of the young woman found the spyware on her machine before hacking into …


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  1. Vic

    And here we go again...

    > the policeman had diverted official emails to his private computer.

    Isn't that a sacking offence?


    1. Dr. Mouse

      I'm pretty sure that, even in our company (a semiconductor manufacturer), it's a serious disciplinary offence. For a cop... Blimey, I wouldn't be surprised if he could be prosecuted for it!

      1. Jimbo 6

        @ Dr. Mouse

        For a cop, I *would* be surprised if he *had the remotest chance of getting* prosecuted for *anything less than multiple murder*

        There, fixed that for you.

    2. Is it me?

      Three go to jail.

      In the UK, all three would be in breach of the official secrets act, and others, so could all be put away. Though one assumes that on the girls part it was unthinking teenage rage, which will cost her fathers job and her pocket money.

      A cautionary tale for all our teenage readers, if a family memeber works in any security service don't hack their PC, and definitely don't pass the details on to a friend.

      The daughter is the most criminally culpable, because she deliberately and knowingly passed on secret information to a friend, potentially putting at risk the safety of others. If the result was an attack on systems from Russia, then you really are treading in espionage territory.

      Not that this excuses the fathers behaviour either, which, although human, isn't right.

      1. M7S

        The daughter might have a reasonable defence

        She might have thought "my dad's a cop, he knows the rules so if the stuff is here, it cannot be that secret" and proceeded on the basis of that assumption.

        Even if not true it would make for an interesting cross examination if he's a prosecution witness at any trial.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge


          Given there are different levels of classification, the presence on his personal PC might be considered alright on the basis he'd be the only one to see it (unlikely then anyway) so I'm not sure she'd have much of a defence going that route.

          Silly, Silly thing to do in either case!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Sorry, what has the daughter done? At least in the Register write-up there's nothing about her passing on any information to anyone. A friend found a trojan on her machine, then hacked the source of the trojan. What's the daughter done?

        1. Lord Lien

          I could not find anything in the article about the daughter being the hacker or passing on the information. So its safe to assume she might not have know what was going on, not everyone is tech savvy.

        2. 404


          Also this 'hacking' they speak of - could be the cop was a typical user, with a typical Windows setup, and the daughter's friend merely turned the workstation on.

          This smells just a bit - too convenient imo.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Send them all to prison

    Hackers and anyone else who violates law should go to prison.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Go back to reading yer Daily Fail!

      1. Arctic fox

        @DJV. RE: "Go back to reading yer Daily Fail!" Slight correction old chap.......

        ............Daily Heil.

    2. NumptyScrub

      "Hackers and anyone else who violates law should go to prison"

      Which laws? There are some laws I see broken regularly, every day, by a huge cross-section of society. I'm all for custodial sentences, as long as you are happy to spend time inside for e.g. littering, swearing in public, public drunkeness, riding a bicycle on the pavement where there is no cycle lane etc.

      And that's not even mentioning traffic violations... I suspect you actually mean "violates those laws which I do not myself routinely violate without thinking" :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Jail 'em up I say, jail some sense into 'em!

      I assume you'll be handing yourself into the nearest prison the next time you break the speed limit,

      Or are you just another Daily Mail inspired reactionary hypocrite?

    4. Steven Roper

      Oh come on, people

      That obvious troll is so obvious it makes 4chan look like a paragon of subtlety.

  3. lotus49

    Serves him right

    I have read (usually in the US it has to be said) a lot of promotional literature offering parents ways of spying on their children as if this were something that responsible parents should be doing.

    To my way of thinking (and I'm a parent of three children) such behaviour is a disgraceful intrusion into children's privacy and something I would never countenance. I have absolutely no sympathy with him and if, as seems highly likely, he loses his job, it damn well serves him right.

    Something that seems to have passed a lot of people by (cf the furore over whether parents should be allowed to beat children) is that children are people and should be afforded the same rights as anyone else. Were someone to plant spyware on another adult's computer and get caught, there would be serious consequences. I don't see why this should be any different.

    You made your bed; now lie in it.

    1. Lamont Cranston


      I thought that keeping an eye on their kids was what responsible parents did.

      Oh well, I guess I'd better contact a lawyer, and arrange to sue my employers for logging what I get up to on my work PC.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Sure; parents should keep an eye out to what their children are doing. But there is a big difference between keeping an eye out and blatantly and /purposely/ invading their privacy.

        When a mother takes her 12 - 14 year old to get new underwear and wonders about the right size, then you don't get step into the dressing chamber with him/her anymore "to make sure that everything is alright". They can do that on their own, and more importantly: privacy, you know ?

        Now back to tech; if the daughter lived in the parents house (both articles (El Reg & Spiegel's) are a bit vague there) and thus shared their Internet connection then there are much better and more ethical ways to monitor this. For example; how about getting a router which supports logging and check up on that? You get to know what kind of places are visited /without/ intruding on privacy (its the parents connection anyway, so they have a right to know whats happening with it).

        IMO the father is fully to blame here. To me this is just as bad as installing a hidden camera in your childs room "to make sure everything is ok".

        1. Lamont Cranston


          OK, installing some sort of malware is inappropriate (and probably a good way to let something bad happen to your home PC), and logging at the router would probably achieve the same ends with better means. But should children have an expectation of privacy, particularly if their using their parents hardware?

          I doubt that I'll be able to supervise my children on the net, full time (I already leave them on it unguarded, but at 5 and 3, they've no interest in anything other than the CBeebies page, anyway). I probably wouldn't want to know everything they've posted, but I'd certainly want to know where they'd been - probably the equivalent of them letting me know where they go when their out with friends, but not the detail of their conversations - and I might want to filter certain content (I'm not looking forward to this becoming an issue!).

          I get the feeling from cases like this, that it's less a case that the parents want to spy on their kids, but more the case that they want to monitor their activities, but don't really know how.

    2. chris lively

      Abdicating responsibility?

      I have several kids, all I them are great.

      However, letting them roam free on the Internet is a complete abdication of your parental responsibility.

      There is absolutely no way I wouldn't monitor what they do online. Not just to "catch" them doing something wrong, but mainly to make sure that the predators stay away.

      It is so easy for them to be drawn into doing things they wouldnt normally do. That we, as parents, need to watch out for.

      The cop shouldnt have brought work home and should be censored and/or fired. The girls friend, however, knowingly broke into a government computer system and should go to jail. The fact the kid used Russian servers to run the attack pretty much proves this wasn't his first time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Both respondees so far are missing the point of the comments made by Lotus49 - (s)he is not advocating not supervising children online, rather it is *spying* on your children that is not appropriate. Being in the same room, sitting with them whilst they surf, checking what they are doing from time to time is responsible parenting. Spying on people via a trojan or commercial spyware product is unlikely to help build and maintain the trust relationship between you and your children.

        1. chris lively

          I missed nothing

          I completely understood that she said *spying* on your children isn't appropriate.

          However, I just wholeheartedly and without reservation disagree.

          I'm not trying to be my kids friend. I'm their parent. As such, and while under my roof, I will monitor them using various means. Trust has very little to do with it; although a good catch phrase here would be "trust, but verify".

          So, I trust that my kids aren't surfing porn or sexting with a 50 year old. However, I sure as hell will verify that they aren't using the means at my disposal.

          Other examples: Like most parents I don't just let my child tell me what their grades are, I get those from their teacher. I don't just blindly "trust" that my 16 year old's new friend isn't a total slacker influence, I get to know them.

          The problem is that it's too easy for a child to get sideways and it's just human nature to hide our failures. If we aren't checking up on them then we aren't doing our jobs.

  4. Dave 15 Silver badge


    The intrusion into privacy by spying mobile phone location is so well known I would be hugely surprised if any criminal takes a mobile with them when up to anything they shouldn't be (oops, left it at home, or even better, oops left it in my friends car).

    But the tracing of location via a sat nav system is interesting. I didn't think satnavs transmitted location to anything, thought it was all down to listening to the satelites and working it out. Its interesting that these systems must therefore be transmitting data to places... starts to get Orwellian 1984 ish... those pesky TV's spying on you - that might throw new horrors onto the CES announcements of TV's with cameras to tell what gestures you make....

    1. Galidron

      Sat Nav

      Here in the US some car rental companies use the cars navigation system to charge you extra if you exceeded the speed limit any time with their car.

  5. Klovis Spamster

    Dad's in deep shit, all right

    From the article, daddy-o is a senior service career officer in the range SI or CSI-range, call it Deputy Inspector, or Inspector for the colonials anound here. He'll have probably be demoted and at least relegated to counting the hairs on the backs of caterpillars, maybe even sacked (which isn't easy, lemme tell you).

    Daddy's liitle girl will probably get off scott free, as she didn't don anything untoward. However, her dear friend may face some questiononing just who the hell he gave the info and possibly the trojan to. However, unless the fuzz do not manage to pin the braking of the Patras-Server on him, he'll not be too much incommodated. Just passing on the information that was readily available on the laptop will be construed by any competent barrister to be completely legal and will probably be laughed out of court. And it will be a completely justified cornholing for the BKA.

    Of course, if it can be proven that the friend did the hacking of the customs and BKA Servers, that'll be a completely different kettle fo fish.

  6. anon9045839452

    A 23-year-old from was arrested last summer for hacking into German customs authority computer systems.

    North Rhine Westphalia born and raised

    On the interwebs was where I spent most of my days

    Chillin' out haxin' relaxin' all cool

    And all shootin some b-ball outside of school

    When a cute lil of girl

    She was up to no good

    Startin making trouble in my neighborhood

    I got in one little hax and my mom got scared

    She said 'You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air'

  7. LarsG


    these habits die hard.

  8. J-Wick

    Teenage hormones...

    Hacker friend was boffing daughter, dad was looking to find a way to throw the book at him. Or dad decided to press his advantage and write him up for anything remotely justifiable once the 'hacking' came to light.

    Optional: Hacker broke up with daughter, dad extra pissed off cos daughter is taking it badly. Decides to use this as a way to get him back...

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