In response to millions of dollars ransom refused by the Argentine Immigration Service, a ransomware group released passport data from hundreds of thousands of travelers. This should also include data on many citizens who entered and left Argentina between the end of February and April 2020. The most affected vicitms are coming from Argentina and Canada.
In Argentine media reports it is said that the attackers are said to have demanded four million dollars from the Argentine immigration authorities to decrypt the data. When the agency failed to pay, the hackers uploaded a file. They published the link for the file on a blog.
People With Diplomatic Passport Data Are Also Affected
The published information contains hundreds of thousands of travelers from several countries, who entered or left Argentina this year. Experts do not consider that it is necessary to apply for a new passport data. Consumer advocates warn, that the leaked data could be misused in the course of identity theft. For example for the unauthorized opening of online bank accounts. Social engineering attacks on affected Argentina travelers are also conceivable, provided that attackers can obtain information such as emails or telephone numbers. In any case, increased attention must be paid to unusual occurrences.
The stolen data accounted for just one percent of the annual travel data. The database itself was not compromised. Work is being carried out on improving the security of IT systems in order to prevent further attacks.
Consumer Advocates Warn Against Identity Theft
This can result in large sums of damage or damage the reputation of those affected: Especially if you unintentionally become part of a later investigation and are confronted with crimes that you did not commit. In this respect, the question arises as to whether those affected do not have to be informed promptly in order to protect themselves against possible criminal acts with their data.