Hacker sold personal data of whole population of Austria

According to the authorities in Austria, a Dutch hacker who was apprehended in November had collected and made available for sale the entire name, address, and date of birth of almost everyone in the  country of Austria.

In May 2020, a user who is believed to be the hacker offered the data for sale in an online forum, presenting it as “the full name, gender, complete address and date of birth of presumably every citizen” in Austria, according to a statement released by the Austrian police, who added that investigators had confirmed the data’s authenticity.

According to the authorities, the cache included close to nine million different data sets.

The population of Austria is close to 9.1 million people.

The hacker had also placed up for sale “similar data sets” from Italy, the Netherlands, and Colombia, according to the Austrian police, who added that they did not have any other information about the incident.

The information pertaining to Austria is what is known as “registration data.” This refers to the fundamental information, such as a current address, that citizens are obligated to furnish to the appropriate authorities.

“Since this data was freely accessible on the Internet, it must certainly be presumed that these registration data are, in whole or in part, irreversibly in the hands of criminals,” the police stated, adding that it was thought that unidentified individuals had paid for the data.

According to the Austrian police, the suspect, who is 25 years old and was caught at an apartment in Amsterdam, was known to international police and is now the subject of an investigation by the Dutch police and judicial authorities.

A spokesperson also said that the statement was only released at this time in order to avoid impeding the ongoing investigations.

The police did not provide any more information on the implications for the data security of Austrians.