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Table Tennis athletes’ passport and vaccination details leaked online

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) had its cloud storage open for three years: passport and vaccination records of hundreds of players were available for download.

The fact that the player’s records were stored online and easily accessible was disclosed in a report by RTL Nieuws in the Netherlands. China’s Olympic champion Ma Long and his compatriot, world champion Fan Zhendong, were among the victims.

And the ITTF can only blame their own organizational skills. According to the Dutch reporters, the leak was caused by an improperly configured cloud hosting service, and the data was exposed for more than three years.

Leaked passport of Ma Long, a Chinese table tennis pro. Courtesy of RTL.

As a result, the folder documents/medical_information could be searched by anyone. The folder with medical data contains more than a thousand documents. The documents folder has nearly six thousand documents, including copies of passports.

RTL correspondents who discovered the leak say that the ITTF was actually notified a few times this year but the federation only intervened to secure the leaky server when the media organization was about to publish its story and kindly notified the ITTF beforehand. The files are no longer publicly accessible.

The Dutch Table Tennis Association also asked the ITTF for clarification on the matter. “We have indicated that this should be taken very seriously,” said its spokesperson Dennis Rijnbeek.

An ITTF spokesperson said that it had no evidence that personal information had been accessed before. "A security issue on our server was brought to our attention by an independent technology expert," they said.

"The ITTF secured the access as soon as it became aware. Documents were stored in this location for only a short period of time, and we have no evidence personal information was accessed prior to the report.”

Vaccination certificates contain medical data and are, therefore, very susceptible to fraud, while copies of passports can be misused for identity fraud and are sought after by criminals.

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