Business Technology

Sunday 22 April 2018

Staff at RTE given warning after email accounts hacked repeatedly

At least one staff member at RTE had their email account hacked three times
At least one staff member at RTE had their email account hacked three times

Brian Byrne

A WARNING has been issued to RTE staff following a spate of successful account hackings in recent months.

At least one staff member at the Montrose studios had their email account hacked three times, with IT staff admitting it was essentially powerless to resolve the matter.

In an email to staff, the broadcaster confirmed that the email account of one staff member had been successfully hacked again – and warned others about the recurring problem.

IT staff at the national broadcaster told staff that the hacking "was a direct result of (the staff member) providing their username and password to hackers by completing a fake form they received from an external address".

They added: "In this situation there is no action that RTE Technology can take . . . and the affected user's account will continue to be locked out until the hacker gives up trying to get into the account following a password change."

The email also warned of the potential consequences of a successful hacking attempt.

"This type of incident can result in RTE's email being blacklisted as a source of spam, resulting in difficulties sending and receiving email from external suppliers, customers, audiences, etc," it stated.


The hacking comes almost a year after RTE said it had beefed up its email security system after a previous hacking attempt.

On that occasion, an impostor launched a series of emails to a small number of staff claiming to be from a financial institution.

A spokesperson from RTE told the Irish Independent: "Like all organisations, RTE receives a large volume of spam email, almost 150,000 per day. No system can offer 100pc protection – and in this instance a phishing email was received by an employee, who assumed it was a genuine email and disclosed their RTE credentials. Systems currently in place minimised the damage and we continue to review our IT environment to minimise risks."

Irish Independent

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