Tech & Design

Russian data theft: Shady world where all is for sale

Data breaches by Russian hackers are a global concern now, but the BBC has discovered how easy it is to buy personal data such as passport and bank account details in Russia itself.

According to cyber-security experts, vast quantities of supposedly private data – including from Russian state institutions – are bought and sold every day.

One morning in January 2018, Roman Ryabov left his office in the southern Russian city of Tula for a cigarette. He worked for Beeline, one of the largest mobile phone operators in Russia.

He was approached by a man he had never met before, Andrei Bogodyuk, who immediately made a business proposal. He wanted Ryabov to access the phone records of someone he knew.

Later that day Ryabov emailed Bogodyuk a long list of telephone calls and dates, for which he was paid 1,000 roubles (£12, $16).

Ryabov also supplied his new acquaintance with data from two more mobile phone numbers. But by then Beeline had spotted the data breach and had contacted the police.

bbc.com/27 May 2019

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