Security researchers have identified a data breach affecting the personal health information of more than 2 million Turkish citizens, detailing eight-year vaccination data.
Medical information is a premium commodity to hackers, who can use it in numerous ways, even if they only extract non-medical data from those breaches. By cross-referencing information from other data breaches, it’s possible to create accurate profiles for people and the information obtained leveraged in illegal activities.
According to an investigation by SafetyDetectives, a leaked database was posted on a known forum on Sept. 10. It was freely available to anyone interested and held information on 5.3 million doses of vaccines administered in Turkey from 2015 to 2023. All in all, around 2 million Turkish citizens were affected.
The database contained the following:
· Vaccine types received by individuals
· Dose numbers of specific vaccinations across the country
· Dates of vaccinations
· Hospitals where vaccinations were performed
· Birth dates
· Patients’ partial Turkish Identification Numbers (TCKNs for short)
· Doctors’ full TCKNs
· Other vaccination and supply chain details
One interesting aspect of the data breach was that the Turkish Identification Numbers were partially redacted, which wasn’t true for the listed doctors. Security researchers believe it was actually scraped from an online service, though it’s unclear which one. Nevertheless, information from roughly 70% of the doctors in Turkey was available online.
“We have sent a responsible disclosure notice to Turkey’s Ministry of Health and are awaiting their response,” security researchers added. “As of the date of publication, we cannot say whether the exploited vulnerability has been patched. We also have no means to identify who is leaking the information, nor can we confirm if the attacker has already extracted more lines of information from the database.”