Spammers capitalise on Ireland's unemployment rate

One of Ireland’s largest job websites,, has been hacked and user details seized.

At 1.50pm yesterday afternoon the website managers of the recruitment site were alerted to the breach. They shut down the website and database ten minutes later and reported the incident to the Gardaí and the Data Protection Commissioner. It is also being investigated internally by RecruitIreland and externally by a security expert.

It was revealed that certain user details were compromised in the attack, including first and last names along with email addresses. It is not believed any other information was obtained, such as CVs, usernames or passwords.

However, the data that was obtained can easily be used for spam and there have already been reports of such. The spam messages use the full name of the individual and present a fake job opportunity. RecruitIreland has urged users to take extra care and not respond to such messages if they manage to escape the anti-spam filter. It is believed that acquiring data for spam was the sole purpose of the attack.

More and more people are using these kinds of websites in Ireland as the unemployment rate remains considerably high at 13.4 percent, according to recent figures for January by the Central Statistics Office. This is a sharp increase from the rate of 4.4 percent five years ago in the heart of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger economic boom.

This attack is the latest in a string of website hacks and data breaches in Ireland. The website of one of the main political parties, Fine Gael, was hacked by Anonymous, while a Northern Ireland political party website was hacked by an Irish language activist. Laptops have also been stolen from the Irish tax office and the Irish government is being investigated for sending unsolicited emails

With an election at the end of February, it doesn’t look like these problems will go away any time soon.