The personal data of thousands of wealthy Moscow residents who subscribed to a regional internet provider has been posted online, Reuters reported on Saturday, adding that compromised data includes names, home addresses and mobile numbers.
The news agency saw several hundred records on an international database and identified data including the mobile phone numbers and addresses of a high-ranking Russian government official, a well-known film director and a leading businessman’s relative.
The compromised provider, Akado Telecom, a large telecommunications network owned by billionaire businessman Viktor Vekselberg, said it had opened an inquiry into the incident.
The data was uploaded to the database of RIPE NCC, a not-for-profit regional internet registry for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, said IT specialist Vladislav Zdolnikov, founder of the TgVPN service, which offers VPNs for users of the Telegram messaging application.
RIPE NCC operates a public database listing which IP addresses have been allocated to different internet service providers. It should not, however, identify individual customers by name or other personal information.
Companies that are members of the registry, which include Akado Telecom, are responsible for loading data onto the database, said Aleksei Semenyaka, a RIPE NCC communications director. He said the provider must have uploaded the customer details, which he confirmed could be accessed freely.
Akado Telecom said it had launched an internal investigation, but did not say whether it knew the private data of its clients had been published or whether the company had provided the information.
“We always respond to criticism with attention and gratitude and conduct thorough analyses to uncover vulnerabilities in our information systems in order to prevent possible data leaks,” it said in a statement.
In Russia, it has been illegal to make personal data publicly available since 2006 and companies breaking the law face fines of up to 50,000 rubles ($756).