Argentina's Residents Victimized by Digital Criminals

  • By Steven
  • Aug 18, 2022

Hackers accessed Argentina's database containing residents' government IDs. The thief found his or her way through the federal government's IT safeguards, plucking information directly from residents' ID cards. 

What Types of Personal Information was Accessed in the Breach?

The information stolen in the attack ranges from full names to street addresses, labor codes, birthdates identification numbers, and more. 

Who is Behind the Attack?

A hacker who goes by the handle of Reaper is allegedly responsible for the data theft. The hacker insists he or she has the data in question copied, meaning there is a backup. This statement contradicts that of the Argentinian federal government. The country's federal government insisted that the hacker had no copy of the data in question. However, when the hacker was challenged with proving his or her claim to have a full copy of the data, the criminal responded by producing the identification number of a random citizen whose information was stored within the illegally accessed database.

The hacker even went as far as threatening to publish the information of one or even several million victims. Adding salt to the wound is the fact that the miscreant took to the internet to publicly state the data would be available for sale on the dark web, the black market, and other backdoor channels.

Was the Attack an Inside Job?

Police and government investigators are now attempting to determine if several federal government employees assisted the hacker in the attack. 

How did the Intrusion Occur?

Argentinian government officials issued a press release in response to the attack. The federal government press release highlighted a VPN account that threat actors had accessed. When asked whether a VPN account had been compromised, the hacker responded in an online forum by noting how some federal government agency employees were careless in digital security.

The Ministry of Interior's press release referenced above provided details on how hackers accessed the database. Internal security specialists identified VPN accounts owned by the Ministry of Health responsible for leaking the information.

Those account details were published on social media networks at the exact moment in time when the VPN access occurred.

What Will Become of the Stolen Information?

Digital security experts insist the stolen information will likely be sold on the black market. The National Registry of Persons has not reported that any such identity theft has occurred though it is seemingly inevitable to occur at some point down the line. The government agency did not respond to media requests about whether the country will reissue national identification cards to residents. 

It is interesting to note that several Argentinian celebrities took to social media to highlight the fact that the hackers published their personal identification card pictures on the web in the aftermath of the attack. Examples of public figures whose information was compromised in the attack include Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi, and Alberto Fernandez.

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