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Dutch hacker obtained virtually all Austrians' personal data, police say

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The police of the Alpine nation of Austria said  on Wednesday (25 January) that a Dutch hacker was arrested in November and had offered for sale nearly every Austrian citizen's full name, address, and date of birth.

In May 2020, an anonymous user, believed to be the hacker, offered the data on an online forum. He claimed that the data was "the complete name, gender, complete adress, and date of birth of presumably all citizens" in Austria. Police also stated that they had confirmed the authenticity of the statement.

According to police, the trove contained nearly nine million data sets. The population of Austria is approximately 9.1 million. Austrian police stated that the hacker also had "similar data sets" from Italy and Colombia, but did not provide further details.

Austrian data is also known as registration data. Basic information such as current address must be provided to authorities.

"Since these data were freely available on the Internet it must absolutely be assumed, in whole or in part that these registration data irrevocably in criminal hands," police stated. They also said that unidentified people had paid for the data.

Austrian police confirmed that the suspect, aged 25, was arrested in Amsterdam. He was known to international law enforcement and is currently under investigation by Dutch police and judicial authorities. The statement was not published in order to hamper those investigations, according to a spokesperson.

The consequences of Austrians' data security were not explained by the police.

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