Swedish password hacking scandal widens
Sweden suffered its worst internet security breach in history, with over 210,000 login details across least 60 websites made public, including personal identity numbers of journalists, MPs and celebrities.
On Tuesday, at least 90,000 passwords of the popular Swedish blog Bloggtoppen were exposed through a Twitter account of former Swedish Democrat and now independent MP William Petzäll. His lawyer told Swedish newspapers his Twitter account was also hacked. Bloggtoppen has been shut down temporarily. Its owner believes hackers “discovered a weakness in the code that lies behind the service”.
Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder, safety manager for the top domain holder Internet infrastructure Foundation, said it was “one of the biggest attacks ever”.
Many login details belonged to Moderate Party members, including several MPs and party secretary Sofia Arkelsten, but members of the Liberal Party were also affected. Other victims include journalists from several major news publications.
Aftonbladet today reported that another 57 websites have been hacked, which makes it the biggest security breach in Swedish history.
However, the paper also cites Ramak Seyedpour, owner of Affelix Media AB, who claims the breaches are old and that hackers just dumped the data they gathered last year. Seyedpour told the paper: “Despite the fact that we had an ip address that was linked to a proxy server in Sweden, the investigation took too long and nothing was done.”
Swedish newspaper Expressen contacted the hacker, known as sc3a5j, and was told: “I dumped this information to let people know that they handle their information wrongly. Many web pages are not up to scratch. And consumers need to know they should never use the same [passwords] for different services on the web. This is how we got into Twitter accounts as well.”
“I am surprised that this still occurs,” Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder told Aftenbladet. “Developers should know basic safety requirements. They must know what they are doing and keep track of information they manage.”
The Swedish security service Säpo told The Register it will not investigate the case, and added: “Stockholm Police will deal with the matter.” ®