Massive Data Breach Exposes Personal Data of Entire Country's Citizens

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A massive data breach has exposed the personal information of millions of people and possibly the entire population of Ecuador.

Allegedly, an unsecured server located in Miami is at the center of the breach, exposing the information of 20 million mostly Ecuadorian citizens, cyber security firm vpnMentor said this week.

There are only 17 million inhabitants of the small south American country, which means almost every person in the nation could be affected. The data includes national identity card numbers, tax identification numbers and names of relatives.

The server in question is owned by Novaestrat, an Ecuadorian company, and the lack of protection was revealed by security firm vpnMentor. Novaestrat has not yet responded to the alleged incident.

Reportedly the breach has now been fixed, although it is unknown whether anyone has accessed the information with criminal intent.

vpnMentor said everyone whose data had been exposed could now be at risk of fraud.

The firm said in a statement:

A malicious party with access to the leaked data could possibly gather enough information to gain access to bank accounts and more,

Ecuador’s President, Lenin Moreno, said he would push through legislation to ensure stricter data security.

Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo vowed to hold those responsible accountable, saying "The information we've received is very serious,"

Experts said Ecuador does not have mechanisms in place requiring companies to protect personal data. And while vpnMentor said the breach was closed Wednesday, it also noted the impact can be long lasting.

The information could potentially be used to commit everything from phone scam to business fraud.

The firm said in a statement:

A malicious party with access to the leaked data could possibly gather enough information to gain access to bank accounts and more,

The Ecuadorian government granted Julian Assange citizenship during his nearly seven-year stay at the nation's London embassy.

According to the firm, researchers found his name and what is believed to be a national identity number.

Sources: MSN News, Independent

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