Argentina: massive data leakage from the armed and security forces

AnibalLeaks is the name of this gigantic data breach. The personal information of more than a million Argentine military and security personnel was found on the Internet in late September.

From our correspondent in Buenos Aires,

In total, the personal data of 1,193,316 people were freely accessible on the web at the end of September. Most are soldiers, members of the army or the gendarmerie, but there are also officials from the Ministries of Defense and Security.

They all have in common that they have been registered with the Armed Forces insurance mutual. The Ministry of Defense confirmed that it is from this body where the information comes from, at the same time that it specified that this database is obsolete. In fact, the mutual fund currently has only 575,000 members.

Almost 1,200,000 people have seen their name, date of birth, marital status, email and postal addresses, and phone numbers released on the Internet.

Aníbal Fernández, new Minister of Security

On September 25, a Twitter account posted a link to this database under the pseudonym AnibalLeaks. In his description, this person is presented as a “certified troll” and as “the enemy of the federal police.” The name “AnibalLeaks” is probably a reference to Argentina’s new Minister of Security, Aníbal Fernández, since it is a photo of him that appears in the profile photo of the Twitter account in question.

The published link referred to a page on the dark web, and was deactivated a few days later according to the Ministry of Defense, without knowing exactly how many people had access to this information, or if some were able to make copies.

It is not the first time that the Argentine armed and security forces have been victims of this type of leakage. Already in 2017 and 2019 data from the Ministries of Security and Defense were found on the Internet.

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The open door to scams

There may be a risk to the physical integrity of these people, since they are identified by their names and postal addresses. But this information is also a real gold mine for cybercriminals, especially those who practice phishing or phishing. These virtual scams consist of extracting sensitive information such as passwords or bank identifiers from someone pretending to be a trusted third party, a bank or a public body for example. Thanks to information published on the Internet at the end of September, cybercriminals can more easily gain the trust of their targets, and thus convince them to disclose certain sensitive data.

The mutual of the armed forces has also warned its members against these virtual scams, which have multiplied in Argentina since the beginning of the pandemic.

In 2020, the National Prosecutor’s Office specialized in cybercrime registered 30 times more scams of this type than the previous year.

► See also: In Argentina, cyber scams linked to the anti-Covid vaccine explode

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