Almere man arrested for data trafficking; Millions of victims worldwide
The Amsterdam police arrested a 25-year-old man from Almere at the end of November 2022 on suspicion of data trafficking. The Almere man allegedly stole and sold the personal data of tens of millions of people worldwide, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) reported on Wednesday.
The suspect was first identified by the Austrian federal police, who were investigating a dataset offered on a cybercrime forum. The dataset offered in May 2020 contained millions of email addresses and personal data from the Geburen Info Service GmbH (GIS), which collects viewing and listening fees in Austria. The Austrian authorities purchased the dataset in an undercover operation, and extensive investigation led them to an IP address in Amsterdam.
In May last year, the Public Prosecutor in Vienna asked the Amsterdam OM to take over the criminal prosecution of the suspect. The Amsterdam police’s cybercrime team started investigating the data provided by Austria and the username used on the cybercrime forum.
“The team has strong indications that the suspect operated under the username and allegedly offered non-public personal data- including patient data from medical records - on the forum for a fee for a long period of time,” the OM said. He made tens of millions of victims worldwide, including in Austria, the Netherlands, Thailand, Colombia, China, and the United Kingdom.
The suspect was in restricted custody until December 15, which is why the OM did not report his arrest sooner. The man is still in custody. He is facing charges of possession of non-public data and making that data available, possession of phishing software and other hacker tools, computer trespass, and habitual money laundering. The last chare concerts cryptocurrency transactions amounting to 450,000 euros in 2022.
The investigation is still ongoing, and the OM may add more charges against the man.