Armenia and Azerbaijan’s armed conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region has just expanded into the digital sphere. CyberNews discovered that someone leaked thousands of Azeri navy sailors’ personal data, including passport numbers and expiry dates.
Since Sunday, Armenia and Azerbaijan have engaged in active warfare over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, rejecting the pressure to hold peace talks. The two countries are now accusing each other of firing into each other’s territory, and the conflict region is spreading.
On Tuesday, a file package called Azerbaijan Navy 2020 started circulating on Russian forums. It contains 18,872 entries, and there are almost 10,000 unique citizens in the database.
The leaked data includes navy sailors’ full names and surnames, dates of birth, passport numbers and expiry dates.
Some passports are already expired but some are valid until 2025.
The leaked data also contains a folder with sailors’ headshot photos. There are 18,872 photos in the folder, and the pictures are numbered. There are some women photos in the package.
The file size is 2 gigabytes, and is protected with an easily guessable and conflict-related password.
As Russian forums had and, obviously, continue to have databases with personal files, Russian Roskomnadzor (The Federal Service for the Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications) has restricted access to these forums. Nevertheless, they can still be accessed to some extent.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a breakaway region inside Azerbaijan, run by ethnic Armenians and backed by Armenia. It is not recognized as an independent republic by any country. The armed conflict in the region started on Sunday, as Armenia accused Azerbaijan’s ally, Turkey, of shooting down one of Armenia’s warplanes over its airspace.
Dozens of people have already been killed since, and the international community is concerned over the stability of the South Caucasus region which is a corridor for pipelines carrying oil.