It’s like a veritable fire sale on Indonesians’ personal data

Indonesia’s private data protection bill cleared another hurdle and could be voted into law this week.  As Bloomberg reports:

Data operators could face up to five years in jail and a maximum fine of 5 billion rupiah ($337,000) for leaking or misusing private information, according to Indonesia’s new data privacy bill set to be passed by parliament this week.

The law would go into effect in two years. Still, it is too late for millions of Indonesians who have already had their personal information hacked, leaked, or otherwise compromised. There has been a veritable fire sale of personal data of Indonesians in recent months.

Just a portion of the first page of recent search results for “Indonesia” on a popular hacking forum where databases are freely leaked or sold. At the time of publication, more than 150 posts offering data for free, selling it, or seeking to buy it could be found.  

In July, DataBreaches reported that all the leaks and hacks threatened Indonesians’ privacy.  A subsequent article quoted one of the self-proclaimed hackers saying, ‘I think Indonesia’s cybersecurity is run by 14-year olds.’  Databases from schools, medical facilities, COVID databases, government agencies, corporations, and banks can all be found on publicly accessible forums and telegram channels.  Some specific examples and listings are in the earlier post by DataBreaches in July. Since then, there have been additional listings, such as DESORDEN’s attack on Indonesia’s biggest tollway operator that compromised employee data, their attack on BOGA Group that involved employee and restaurant customer data, and even more recently, their attack on Honda’s main dealer in Indonesia, HondaMugen, that resulted in the exfiltration of personal identifying information of those being recruited or considered by the dealer. DESORDEN posted links to images of national ID cards, driving licenses, resumes, transcripts, and CVs on a popular hacking-related forum.

The website is currently “down for maintenance” and could not be reached to inquire whether they have notified those affected by DESORDEN’s attack.  But because there has been no legislation in place, it is unclear whether any notifications will be made or any public admission of any hack will be forthcoming.

While DESORDEN continues its campaign of attacking big corporations and others leak or sell large databases with various kinds of personal information on Indonesian citizens (some of which can be found by open source searches), one individual or group known as “Bjorka” has been garnering a lot of public and media attention for advertising big databases like millions of SIM cards. Bjorka has also published the personal information of several government officials. Their in-your-face approach has brought some cheers but may also have put a target on their back as far as the government is concerned. While some of the personal information about government officials has been confirmed as accurate, some has been described as inaccurate.

In any event, the explosion of databases and leaks combined with increased media attention has resulted in a significant influx of new users to the forum. In response, the forum’s owner temporarily suspended new registrations because they couldn’t handle the number of new signups.

Update and Correction of September 15L

This post was edited post-publication to remove an alleged criticism of Bjorka and to remove a description of databases seen on Telegram. Both edits were made because DataBreaches was unable to get confirmation of either set of claims and DataBreaches learned that the Telegram seller had been banned for scamming and for listing shady databases.

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