Germany's embassy on Thursday refuted reports that its appointment system for visas had been hacked and that visa slots were booked within minutes of their having been released. The embassy officials clarified that the problem was due to overbooking and the demand for the visas rather than any act of hacking. The reports of hacking emanated from the Sunday edition, Welt am Sonnntag, of Germany’s newspaper Die Welt. The news report had stated that the computer system of Germany’s embassy’s visa appointment system had been hacked and that hackers were hacking into the computer system booking slots and selling them in the black market for an amount of about $5000
There was total denial from the concerned authorities that there was any hacking of their embassy’s web site. A spokesman of the Germany’s embassy told the newspaper, Daily Star, that the official web site was checked in Berlin, where it is operated from, and that he could confirm that there no actual hacking of the system or anything similar. The spokesman also reiterated and stated that this kind of reports of hacking news, if it had taken place, would have been very much in the news, if it really had taken place. The spokesman also stated that the number of slots for Syrians always seems to fall short, so the embassy authorities always seek to make available more slots, but even if this is done, slots get booked fast.
But, according to the observers, it has been the Lebanese part of the system that has been partly shut down, due to ‘misuse’. And also, Syrian applications are being accepted at Germany’s embassy in Beirut since the time it was closed down due to the war-like conditions there (i.e. in Syria). But, anyway, there are two separate tracks for the issuance of the visas for the two countries. Also, for the Lebanese, the rule in the German embassy is that they must go to the embassy in person between 10 AM and 1 PM. This way, the embassy wants to ensure that only the person who is a genuine visa seeker gets the appointment to meet and apply for the visa.