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Hackers Break into Database of Norwegian ID Numbers

Computer hackers have captured secret data belonging to 60,000 Norwegians, including the top man of the agency that protects the data, according to the agency, which revealed the incident on August 10, 2007.

According to the Norwegian news outlet, Aftenposten, the hackers managed to get hold of the 11-digit, personal identity numbers of about 50,000-60,000 Norwegians. The agency said the hackers took advantage of a weak point on the site of Tele 2, the telephone operators to access the subscribers' national password ID numbers and home addresses.

The enormous data breach has affected 1.3% of Norway's population. The data that includes information about details of address change effectively enables hackers to potentially tap mail and purchases of those they compromised.

Among the victims is George Apenes also, the director of Datatilsynet whose ID number was stolen. Apenes was taken unaware when he received a new chip by mail for his cell phone from the operator he had not subscribed with. It did not take long for Apenes to realize that someone had established a new mobile phone connection in his name, according to NRK, a public broadcaster.

Datatilsynet fears there might be a future large-scale theft of ID numbers that are compiled in a database stored in some system. The company advises recipients of a Tele 2 correspondence to be especially careful.

People are furious. They find the unauthorized access to their personal identity numbers, scary, said senior advisor Gunnel Helmer in a statement. Australian IT published Helmer's statement on August 13, 2007.

Helmer said that they hoped this case was just an incident to demonstrate how easy it is to steal identities on the Internet. The Sydney Morning Herald published this other statement of Helmer on August 11, 2007. It is possible to exploit the security defects in sites, which keep trying to be simpler to browse but end up displaying individuals' details to save the trouble of typing them, Helmer added.

Tele 2 has received several warnings to increase the security of its Website. The telephone operator has promised to fulfill that. Meanwhile, the police is probing the case.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

» SPAMfighter News - 8/24/2007

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