Police arrest hacker suspected of biggest data leak in Brazil

Over 223 million Brazilian taxpayer numbers were placed on sale online

Published in 19/03/2021 - 15:18 By Karine Melo - Brasília

The man suspected of being responsible for the biggest data leak in Brazil was arrested Friday (Mar. 19) in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, as part of Federal Police Operation Deepwater. The crackdown probes into the acquisition, sharing, and sale of Brazilian data, including those of a number of authorities.

Investigations have found that a large number of classified data of both people and legal entities—such as taxpayer and firm registration numbers, as well as full names and addresses—were illicitly shared online in January.

The information may have been acquired through payment in cryptocurrencies. The mega-leakage of data was brought to light by Dfndr Lab, a laboratory specializing in digital security, controlled by startup Psafe.

Over 223 million Brazilian taxpayer numbers were placed on sale on online forums, in addition to details like names, addresses, income, income tax, photos, beneficiaries under the Bolsa Família cash transfer program, and credit scores.

“After the inquiries, the Federal Police identified the suspect […], as well as a second hacker, believed to be selling the data on social media,” the police declared in a note. The identity of the man arrested has not been disclosed.

The warrants were issued by Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Kleber Sampaio / Nira Foster

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