Friday , June 21 2024

Thai agencies hunt for hacker that allegedly holds 55 million people’s data

Thai authorities are hunting for a hacker who claims to have stolen personal data of 55 million Thais for ransom.

Local media cited Pol Lt Gen Worawat Watnakhonbancha, commissioner of the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB), saying that the CCIB has asked the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) as well as the National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) to look into the case and find out whether the personal data was hacked or leaked by certain officials.

Previously, local media reported that a hacker named “9Near” posted on BreachForum – an electronic information site specializing in the sale and purchase of leaked personal data from public agencies and private companies – that he/she is holding personal data of 55 million Thais, including name, address, date of birth, citizen identification number and phone numbers.

On the website, the hacker threatened to reveal the source of the leaked information and make all the leaked information public if the relevant agency or organization does not respond to the request for money before 4 p.m. on April 5. The website also displays an online countdown timer.

DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said on March 31 that personal identification card data kept by the Ministry of Internal Affairs has not been leaked.

He said the ministry contacted the 9near website’s hosting service, which is located overseas, to shut it down for possible privacy violations, but has yet to receive an answer.

The ministry is also seeking a court order to block the website in Thailand over possible violation of the Computer Crime Act of 2017.

Minister Chaiwut also said the leaked information did not appear to contain sensitive data, such as medical records. He believes the information gathered by the hackers may have been taken from agencies or companies that have substandard cyber-security systems.

Chaiwut also warned that releasing other people’s personal information is a criminal offense and can result in five years in prison and/or a fine of up to 1 million THB (US$29,350).

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