2 min read

Two Dutch Public Health Workers Arrested for Selling Coronavirus Patient Information

Alina BÎZGĂ

January 27, 2021

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Two Dutch Public Health Workers Arrested for Selling Coronavirus Patient Information

Dutch police have arrested two Public Health Department (GGD) workers for allegedly stealing information on COVID-19 patients and offering to sell it online to various cybercriminals.

The arrests resulted from a police investigation after RTL Nieuws, a local media outlet, discovered personal information from two GGD systems, storing coronavirus patient information, was being sold on instant messaging apps such as Telegram.

Police said the GGD reported personal data theft from its systems on January 22.

“The cybercrime team of the Central Netherlands police immediately started an investigation,” the police report reads. “This investigation soon led to two employees of the GGD call center. The suspects were both in Amsterdam on Saturday evening, where they were arrested and taken to a cell. It concerns a 21-year-old man from Heiloo and a 23-year-old man from Alblasserdam. The men’s homes were searched; computers have been seized.”

The investigation is ongoing, and authorities have not ruled out additional arrests. The initial police report states that names, date of birth, and address were among personal information put up for sale by the two suspects.

However, the RTL Nieuws investigation revealed that the private data had been offered for sale in large chat groups, including Snapchat and Wickr for months. Some posts provide look-up services for specific individuals that range between 30 and 50 euros.

“You will receive the home and email address and telephone and social security number from someone,” RTL Nieuws explained. “Other accounts offer large datasets containing the private data of tens of thousands of Dutch people. Criminals charge thousands of euros for this because it is relatively unique that social security numbers are sold on such a large scale.”

The data theft and illegal trade of information has obliged the GGD to enforce additional security measures, requiring each employee to sign a confidentiality agreement and submit a Certificate of Good Conduct. The public health service also ensured that remote workers will be thoroughly monitored once system upgrades are made.

The security incident could also have serious legal and financial consequences for the GGD. “This is very bad and may be a serious data breach,” the Dutch Data Protection Authority said. “The AP immediately demanded clarification from the GGD. This data includes name, address, place of residence and telephone numbers and also BSNs: all current and in large quantities. That is very valuable.”

Stop guessing what the internet knows about you. Find out with Bitdefender”s Digital Identity Protection!

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

June 28, 2022

2 min read
Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

June 28, 2022

3 min read
Bitdefender Reveals the Top Cyber Threats Faced by Consumers in 2021

Bitdefender Reveals the Top Cyber Threats Faced by Consumers in 2021

June 22, 2022

1 min read
Scam alert: Cybercrooks use shady investment domain to scam keen investors out of money and data

Scam alert: Cybercrooks use shady investment domain to scam keen investors out of money and data

May 24, 2022

3 min read
John Oliver Shows the Dark Side of Data Brokerage on Last Week Tonight

John Oliver Shows the Dark Side of Data Brokerage on Last Week Tonight

April 15, 2022

3 min read
Bitdefender Labs Warns of Phishing Scams Targeting MetaMask Users

Bitdefender Labs Warns of Phishing Scams Targeting MetaMask Users

April 14, 2022

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

DOJ Leaks Trove of California Gun Owners’ Personal Information Online DOJ Leaks Trove of California Gun Owners’ Personal Information Online
Alina BÎZGĂ

July 01, 2022

2 min read
Exposed Server at Malaysian POS Software Provider Leaks Data of 1 Million Customers Exposed Server at Malaysian POS Software Provider Leaks Data of 1 Million Customers
Alina BÎZGĂ

June 22, 2022

2 min read
Is someone abusing your credit card? Here’s what you can do to prevent credit card fraud Is someone abusing your credit card? Here’s what you can do to prevent credit card fraud
Alina BÎZGĂ

June 14, 2022

2 min read