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Turkey: personal data of 50 million citizens leaked online, hackers claim

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By Sarah Chappell  with AP, Reuters
Turkey: personal data of 50 million citizens leaked online, hackers claim

<p>Turkey has launched an investigation into an alleged leak of the personal data of almost 50 million citizens. The information is said to have been hacked from a national database and posted online. </p> <p>If confirmed, the leak would be one of the biggest personal data security breaches that the world has known.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Turkey launches investigation over data leak reports <a href="https://t.co/4R8xNZ1XKj">https://t.co/4R8xNZ1XKj</a> <a href="https://t.co/eDw7VIcLc9">pic.twitter.com/eDw7VIcLc9</a></p>— <span class="caps">TRT</span> World (@trtworld) <a href="https://twitter.com/trtworld/status/717686359247470596">April 6, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p><strong>How big?</strong> <ul> <li>A massive database purporting to contain the personal information of <strong>49,611,709 Turkish citizens</strong></li> <li>That means potentially two thirds of Turkey’s population could have been affected</li> <li>If confirmed, it would be one of the biggest public leaks of personal data ever seen</li> </ul></p> <p><strong>How bad?</strong></p> <p>The leak allegedly includes the following data: <ul> <li>Full names</li> <li>Full addresses</li> <li>National ID numbers</li> <li>Parents’ full names</li> <li>Dates of birth</li> </ul></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Investigation launched into theft of Turkish citizenship database<a href="https://t.co/cDelXx3JOQ">https://t.co/cDelXx3JOQ</a> <a href="https://t.co/DCKv2San9x">pic.twitter.com/DCKv2San9x</a></p>— Turkish Minute (@TurkishMinuteTM) <a href="https://twitter.com/TurkishMinuteTM/status/717667256059166720">April 6, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p><strong>Who and why?</strong></p> <p>No details about the hackers behind the publication of the alleged leak have been confirmed.</p> <p>The <a href="http://185.100.87.84/">website that is hosting the allegedly leaked data</a> has a web page entitled “Turkish Citizenship Database”.</p> <p>The opening statement on the web page reads: “Who would have imagined that backwards ideologies, cronyism and rising religious extremism in Turkey would lead to a crumbling and vulnerable technical infrastructure?”</p> <p>In a section entitled “Lessons to learn for Turkey,” the web page reads: “Do something about (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan! He is destroying your country beyond recognition.”</p> <p>The website purports to show Erdogan’s own personal data.</p> <p><strong>Can it be for real?</strong></p> <p>It appears that it might be, yes.</p> <p>The Turkish authorities announced the launch of an investigation on Wednesday, but prior to that The Associated Press (AP) reported that it had been able to “partially verify” the leak.</p> <p>AP reported that it had compared non-public Turkish ID numbers against names in the database, resulting in eight matches.</p> <p>The site appears to be hosted by an Icelandic group that specialises in divulging leaks, using servers in Romania, AP reported.</p>