As a result of a data breach, 16,000 Finnish citizens might be exposed to identity theft after their details ended up online on a file-sharing website.
According to YLE, FIROCA, the country's communication watchdog, alerted individuals and advised them to wait until they are contacted by the ones responsible for dealing with the incident, instead of taking matters into their own hands.
The National Bureau of Investigation began an inquiry and their first findings were announced to the public.
Social security numbers, home addresses, telephone numbers and emails were posted on the internet, the main suspects for leaking the information being a number of adult education facility.
People are advised not to profit from the issue even if the temptation to download and even republish the information is high. Websites that allegedly offer their services to check if someone's information ended up online should also be avoided.
“Never type your social security number into a service that offers to reference your information,” said Erka Koivunen, the Head of CERT-FI.
The Office of Inadequate Security learned that F-Secure's Chief Research Officer, Mikko Hyppönen, took a look at the case and revealed that the data could have come from an online service where people fill in their details themselves. Most likely, careless handling of the information is the numbers one reason for the data leak.
Hyppönen fears that a lot of internauts could fall victims to identity theft, especially since the details were posted on several servers. Even though the files are now removed from the web, who knows how many already secured a copy.
As seen in many cases before, individuals keep getting exposed to criminal activities due to the fact that organizations don't properly secure the personal details of their customers.
Unfortunately, instead of securing their data before they fall victims to a data breach they only take the appropriate measures after they suffer from an attack.
Update. Erka Koivunen, Head of CERT-FI, has kindly provided a few clarifications on the subject.