May 17, 2021 / 21:59

Vietnam police verify data leak and sale of 10,000 Vietnamese ID cards

The personal data could be used by criminals to fraudulently appropriate property, forge documents to impersonate, and open a bank account.

The leak of personal data of nearly 10,000 Vietnamese identity cards (ID) for US$9,000 is under investigation, Maj. Gen. To An Xo, Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Public Security told local media on May 17.

It's reported that an account named Ox1337xO, registered on RaidForums announced a sale of a 17GB database on May 13 of identification details of thousands of Vietnamese people.

The post was then deleted, To An Xo said, adding that it was still stored in the cache of Google search engine, and has raised serious concern over information safety.

In the sale advertisement, the hacker informed that he is selling data including name, date of birth, avatar, address, email, phone number, identity card number, and front and back ID card photos.

 Information of Vietnamese citizen ID card is sold on RaidForums. Photo: Zing

The hacker offered the data for US$9,000, paid by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Litecoin, or by Vietnamese dong through an intermediary who is also a member of the forum. In a recent move, the hacker said his/her offer was halved to only US$4,300.

According to Xo, the investigation shows that many sources can reveal people's personal data.

Hackers can also steal information from personal data management units, especially those performing administrative transactions that require people to prove their identity.

"More seriously, the personal data could be used by criminals to fraudulently appropriate property, forge documents to impersonate, and open a bank account," Xo said.

Vice President of Bkav Ngo Tuan Anh said that the 17G data included video clips, and the number of exposed user accounts was not high.

This is the data of Pi Network virtual currency; the true volume of ID card information leak is only a little, Tuan Anh said, adding that Ox1337xO is an anonymous name that has just been created and requires virtual currency as the payment method.

"It can be said that this data transaction is most likely a scam and there is no evidence to show an information leak from the national population database of Vietnam," the Bkav vice president confirmed.

However, he also commented that this is a serious issue as the information of nearly 10,000 people, including sensitive ones such as the front and back pictures of citizen ID cards, is exposed.