* About 20,000 email addresses could be affected
* ECB says no market sensitive data were compromised
* German police investigating the case
(Adds number of email addresses)
FRANKFURT, July 24 The European Central Bank
said on Thursday its website had been hacked and some email
addresses and other contact information stolen but insisted no
market-sensitive data were affected.
The theft came to light after the central bank received an
anonymous email on Monday night demanding money in exchange for
the stolen addresses.
The hackers broke into a database storing details of people
who had registered for ECB conferences, visits and other events,
the bank said.
That database, which held about 20,000 email addresses and a
much smaller number postal addresses and phone numbers, was kept
physically separate from internal systems, it added.
"No internal systems or market sensitive data were
compromised," the ECB said in a statement.
The ECB is currently running a particularly sensitive review
of the euro zone's top lenders, collecting streams of data to
gauge whether banks have valued loans and other assets
correctly, before it starts supervising them.
German police were investigating the breach and all people
who might have had their details stolen had been contacted, said
(Reporting by Eva Taylor; Editing by Andrew Heavens)