redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Greek police arrested a 35-year-old computer programmer on Tuesday for allegedly stealing the personal data of the majority of the country´s population, Reuters reported.
Athens police said the man “had digital files with personal data of more than nine million citizens, such as identification card data, addresses, tax identification number and vehicle registration numbers,” which the man is also suspected of trying to sell.
Greece’s population is about 11 million.
The man’s occupation as a computer programmer is what lead authorities to suspect he obtained the data through hacking. Police are also investigating whether the suspect may have obtained the files by hacking into government servers, and whether he had an accomplice working for the government.
“We are investigating what was the source of the data, how they were used by the man arrested, as well as the possibility of him providing them to someone else,” police spokesman Christos Manouras told reporters.
While the scale of the stolen data is startling, police point out that much of the information is duplicated, making it hard to put a precise figure on the number of people affected.
However, it’s still likely that a majority of Greeks are now victims of identity theft.
Authorities have not yet pressed any formal charges against the man, who is expected to appear in court this week.