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