Dutch hacker steals and sells data of almost all Austrian population

January 27, 2023  20:09

A Dutch hacker has stolen and sold the data of almost all Austrians. According to Reuters, the criminal was detained in November 2022.

Citing Austrian law enforcement data, the agency said the stolen data included the full names, addresses and dates of birth of millions of Austrians.

The perpetrator tried to sell the stolen data on an online forum in May 2020, claiming that the database contained the full name, gender, address and date of birth of presumably every citizen of Austria.

The investigation confirmed the authenticity of the database in the hacker's hands, which contained information on some 9.1 million Austrians. The same perpetrator also tried to sell similar databases with data on citizens of Italy, the Netherlands and Colombia.

“Since this data was freely available on the Internet, it must absolutely be assumed that these registration data are, in full or in part, irrevocably in the hands of criminals,” the Austrian police said in a statement. Before the detention of the hacker database was sold to unknown persons.

As for the hacker, it turned out to be a 25-year-old resident of Amsterdam, who was known to international police and was already under investigation in the Netherlands.

The police did not specify exactly how the offender managed to obtain the data and what consequences the incident might have for residents of Austria, whose data are at risk.

Recently, victims of massive phishing attacks in the U.S. were the civil servants of several state departments. Notably, the hackers used legitimate remote access tools.

As a result of hacker attacks in 2021 about 1 billion e-mail addresses were compromised, that is, every 5th Internet user. As of 2021, each individual subjected to a phishing attack suffered an average of $136 in damages. Hacking attacks worldwide increased by 38% in 2022 compared to 2021.

In addition to ordinary citizens, companies and corporations also suffer as a result of attacks. Businesses lost an average of $4.35 million to data breaches in 2022, up from $4.24 million in 2021.

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