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Science & Tech

The Digital ID Rollout Is Becoming a Hacker’s Dream

by Didi Rankovic | Reclaim the Net
January 5th 2024, 3:20 am
A major privacy and security issue.
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Governments and corporations around the world are showing great enthusiasm in either already implementing, or planning to implement some form of digital IDs.

As it turns out ironically, these efforts are presented to citizens as not only making their lives easier through convenience, but also making sure their personal data contained within these digital IDs is safer in a world teeming with malicious actors.

Opponents have been warning about serious privacy implications, but also argue against the claim that data security actually gets improved.

It would appear they are right – at least according to a report by a cybersecurity firm issued after the hacker attacks happening around the Christmas holiday, something that’s now been dubbed “Leaksmas.”

Not only governments, but hackers as well love digital IDs and huge amounts of personal information all neatly gathered in one place, and, judging by what’s been happening recently, in many instances, sitting there pretty much easily available to them.

And hackers have expressed this love by making digital ID data their primary focus, the firm, Resecurity, said in its report. Resecurity claims that this is a clear fact, and that it was able to discern it by analyzing data dumps once they started appearing on the dark web after the Christmas-time “digital smash-and-grabs.”

In numbers, a staggering 50 million records containing personally identifiable information have surfaced on the dark web. The reason so many stolen datasets have made it to the black digital market all at once appear to be “technicalities” related to the time window during which most of it will be “sellable”.

Breaking down that 50 million number, Resecurity said that 22 million records were stolen from a telecommunications company in Peru, which include what’s known there as DNIs – national IDs.

According to reports, it is hard to overestimate how devastating this event could be, if the DNIs end up in the wrong hands. It is the sole ID document recognized by the authorities in Peru for a range of things fundamental to people’s everyday life: “judicial, administrative, commercial and civil transactions,” as one article put it.

After Peru, other countries most affected are the Philippines, the US, France, and Vietnam.


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