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

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.

If confirmed, the leak would be one of the biggest personal data security breaches that the world has known.

How big?

  • A massive database purporting to contain the personal information of 49,611,709 Turkish citizens
  • That means potentially two thirds of Turkey’s population could have been affected
  • If confirmed, it would be one of the biggest public leaks of personal data ever seen

How bad?

The leak allegedly includes the following data:

  • Full names
  • Full addresses
  • National ID numbers
  • Parents’ full names
  • Dates of birth

Who and why?

No details about the hackers behind the publication of the alleged leak have been confirmed.

The website that is hosting the allegedly leaked data has a web page entitled “Turkish Citizenship Database”.

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?”

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.”

The website purports to show Erdogan’s own personal data.

Can it be for real?

It appears that it might be, yes.

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.

AP reported that it had compared non-public Turkish ID numbers against names in the database, resulting in eight matches.

The site appears to be hosted by an Icelandic group that specialises in divulging leaks, using servers in Romania, AP reported.