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Hackers expose masses of personal data on dark web during Christmas


Cybercriminals don’t pause their activities during holidays. On the contrary, they usually attack victims more fiercely in the hope of catching them off guard.

Malicious hackers often strike before or during longer weekends and festivities, knowing that there’s a lesser chance of their intrusion being detected right away.

Researchers from cybersecurity company Resecurity observed another curious way how criminals celebrate Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, multiple threat actors released substantial data dumps on the dark web. They were tagged “Free Leaksmas,” leading researchers to guess that they were shared freely among crooks as a form of mutual gratitude.

“Ironically, this display of generosity among cybercriminals is far from a cause for celebration for victims globally,” Resecurity noted.

Victims worldwide might be facing account takeovers (ATO), business email compromises (BEC), identity theft, and financial fraud.

“Leaksmas” involved:

  • A large dataset from Movistar, a leading telecommunications provider in Peru with 22 million records
  • A database belonging to a government agency in Chile
  • A substantial leak involving one of the major credit services in the Philippines
  • A dataset belonging to a French company with 1.5 million records
  • A leak involving 1.4 million records associated with a project that was later acquired by Klarna, a Swedish fintech company
  • A database belonging to a Vietnam-based fashion store with over 2.5 million victim records.
  • Some records belonging to a hacked online military gear shop based in Italy
  • A dataset involving over 2 million records of banking customers from Mexico
  • A massive data leak from ESSEMTEC

The most active ‘Santa’ of the dark web were the actors from SiegedSec, infamous for previously releasing exfiltrated data from the Idaho National Labs.

“The actual damage resulting from this activity could potentially amount to millions of dollars. Mitigating this damage is particularly challenging due to the intricate interconnection between personal data and digital identity. For the average consumer, changing this information in practice is a complex and often difficult process,” Resecurity noted.


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