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Personal details of 50 million Turkish citizens leaked online, hackers claim

   Hackers claim to have accessed the personal details of nearly 50 million Turkish citizens and posted them online in a massive security breach that could seriously embarrass the country’s government.

If confirmed, it would be one of the biggest public leaks of personal data ever seen, experts said - effectively putting two-thirds of the country’s population at risk of fraud and identity theft. AP reported on Monday that it had partially verified the leak as authentic.

Personal information including national identity numbers, addresses, dates of birth and names of parents were all posted online in a downloadable 6.6 GB file.

The data was accompanied by an online statement headlined Turkish Citizenship Database that made some taunting stabs at Turkey’s ruling establishment and its Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

“Who would have imagined that backwards ideologies, cronyism and rising religious extremism in Turkey would lead to a crumbling and vulnerable technical infrastructure?,” it read.

Significantly, the details included those of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s authoritarian president, at whom the leak appeared to be partially targeted,  judging by some highly politicised comments on the accompanying statement.

Under the heading Lessons for Turkey, the poster wrote: “Do something about Erdogan. He is destroying your country beyond recognition.”

The leak also purported to disclose the details of Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish prime minister, and Abdullah Gul, Mr Erdogan’s predecessor as president.

Other “lessons”, offered in bullet points. made mockingly dismissive references to the Turkish authorities’ internet security procedures.  They stated: "Bit shifting isn't encryption;   Index your database. We had to fix your sloppy DB work; Putting a hardcoded password on the UI [user interface] hardly does anything for security."

The message also addressed Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner in the American presidential election, in terms that suggested the hackers were United States citizens.   “We really shouldn't elect Trump, that guy sounds like he knows even less about running a country than Erdogan does,” it read under a final section headlined Lesson For The US. 

The site appeared to be hosted by an Icelandic group specialising in divulging leaks, using servers in Romania, AP reported.

Hackers have a track record of targeting Turkey. One hacking episode by the group Anonymous saw 17.8 GB of material from the national police database released online in February.

Jacob Applebaum, an American computer security specialist and hacker based in Berlin, said the latest leak could constitute a major breach for the Turkish authorities.

“If this is really what it claims, I think it is one of the largest security/PII breaches since the #OPM hack,” he wrote on Twitter, referring to last year’s hacking of the United States Office of Personnel Management database, which is thought to have compromised the records of 18 million people.


Source : http://telegraph.co.uk




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