The Personal Data of Dutch Citizens Was Sold through Telegram and Snapchat


Dutch law enforcement officials have arrested two people trafficking in data from COVID-19 patients. This was reported by RTL Nieuws reporter Daniel Verlaan, who spotted ads for Dutch citizens' data on several popular communication platforms, including Telegram, Snapchat and Wickr. Police arrested the perpetrators within 24 hours of receiving a statement from the Dutch Municipal Health Service (GGD).


“On Friday, January 22, the police and prosecutors received messages from GGD that personal data from GGD systems had been put up for sale via Telegram. The Cybercrime Unit of the Netherlands Police immediately launched an investigation. The investigation came to two employees of the GGD call center. The police immediately placed surveillance on them. Both suspects were in Amsterdam on Saturday night, where they were arrested and taken into custody. They turned out to be a 21-year-old resident of Heiloo and a 23-year-old resident of Alblasserdam. Searches were carried out at the place of residence of both men; computers were seized, ” thepolice report said.


Millions of coronavirus patient records have been put up for sale, including addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers (BSN). Apparently, the data was stolen from two of the most important GGD systems - CoronIT, which contains data of citizens who were tested for coronavirus, and one of the GGD systems for tracking contacts with patients, HPzone Light. The two suspects had access to these systems because they worked at the GGD call center.


For several months, cybercriminals from multiple accounts offered data in various large chat groups in popular instant messengers. From some accounts, cybercriminals offered data for individual users. That is, for 30-50 euros, the buyer could get home and email addresses, social insurance number, as well as the phone number of the person of interest. For a few thousand euros, sellers offered datasets of hundreds of thousands of Dutch citizens. The cost of the data was 30-50 euros per person.


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