Hackers are well-known to nab customer data held by companies, however acquiring the non-public information of just about all the residents of a single nation in a single fell swoop takes the nefarious apply to an entire new degree.
The exceptional feat was allegedly carried out by a 25-year-old Dutch hacker who, when arrested by police, had in his possession private information linked to just about each resident of Austria — about 9 million individuals.
The suspect was really arrested in November, Reuters reported, however Austrian police solely revealed particulars of the case this week to guard its long-running investigation.
9 million information units linked to Austrian residents had been supplied on the market on an internet discussion board in Might 2020. The info included the complete identify, gender, full tackle, and date of start “of presumably each citizen,” the police mentioned.
In line with Reuters, the knowledge is what’s often called “registration information,” which residents of Austria are required to offer to the authorities. The alleged hacker obtained the info after exploiting a glitch at a Viennese IT firm that had non permanent entry to the knowledge, native media reported.
The accused was apparently additionally making an attempt to promote comparable information units linked to the populations of Italy, the Netherlands, and Colombia, although it’s not clear what number of residents in every of those international locations had been caught up within the hacks.
Police arrested the suspect in an residence in Amsterdam. In line with stories, he’s already recognized to worldwide police and is presently being investigated by the Dutch authorities.
“Since this information was freely accessible on the web, it should completely be assumed that these registration information are, in full or partly, irrevocably within the palms of criminals,” Austrian police mentioned.