Allegedly, cybercriminals managed to hack the government ID database of the entire population of Argentina in September 2021. According to the reports, the leaked data is sold in private circles. This government ID database hack targeted RENAPER, a crucial agency under the Argentinian Interior Ministry. The agency is responsible for issuing ID cards to all citizens. It stores data in digital format to ensure accessibility to other government agencies.
It is worth noting that RENAPER, or the National Registry of Persons, possesses insurmountable data, including the government ID database. The data incorporates official ID card details, national registry, and photos of all the Argentinian population.
First Evidence of Government ID Database Hack
As you’d expect, the hack sent shockwaves across Twitterati in Argentina. A newly created account with a Twitter handle @AnibalLeaks leaked personal details for over 40 Argentinian celebrities. The ones whose details got published included Argentinian President Alberto Fernández, soccer superstars Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, politicians, and journalists.
One day later, the hacker also ran an ad on one of the popular hacking forums. He did so after publishing the details on Twitter. He offered to look up the personal information of any Argentinian user. Later on, Twitter suspended the account of the alleged hacker. Essentially, the Argentinian government requested to interrupt the account as it was tarnishing national integrity.
Government Response to ID Database Hack
On October 13, the Argentinian government released a statement on this matter. It denied the hacking of the National Registry of Persons. The statement, instead, tried to give the impression that it was only a VPN account assigned to the Health Ministry that got hacked. The VPN was exploited to query the RENAPER database for 19 photographs when they got published on Twitter.
Nevertheless, the hacker, who was selling access to the RENAPER – government ID – database on the hacking forum, contradicted the official statement. The Record, a cybersecurity news publication, contacted the cybercriminal for his take on the matter. According to the Record, the cybercriminal had a copy of the data, which reversed the government statement.
The hacker provided the details, including the Trámite number, of a random Argentinian citizen of choice that the Record had asked for evidence. The cybercriminal also added that he would publish the data of one or two million people in a few days. Meanwhile, the hacker claimed to continue selling access to the RENAPER data to every interested buyer.
Potential Impact with Theft of Such Large-Scale ID Database Hack
The threat actors can wreak havoc with the trove of the information under their possession. Alongside that large-scale government ID database hack, Argentinian citizens are now at risk of sophisticated phishing attempts, financial fraud, and impersonation scams. Considering the hacker’s sample online regarding the government ID database hack, he has access to sensitive information. It involves full names, birth dates, home addresses, gender information, ID card details, labor ID codes, citizen numbers, Trámite numbers, and government photo IDs.
The government ID database hack is another major blow to the Argentinian government after the La Gorra leaks in 2017 and 2019. All incidents involved government accounts and databases. Accordingly, please feel free to contact LIFARS for Cybersecurity Advisory and Consulting Services to develop mitigations against evolving cybersecurity threats.
Hacker steals government ID database for the entire population of Argentina
Twitter suspends hacker who reportedly stole data of over 45 million Argentinians
The statement from the National Registry of Persons on the data breach
Devastating digital ID hack in Argentina
Cybercriminals steal the govt database of the entire Argentinian population
Suspension of the account of the hack who obtained access to Argentina ID Card Database