Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Biggest Hack in Swedish History Affects Politicians, Journalists Among Others

Login credentials for nearly 200,000 individuals, most Swedish citizens, have been exposed in what experts are calling the largest data breach in that country's history.

According to a report from The Local, a Sweden-based, English language news publication, a popular Swedish blogging platform, Bloggtoppen, was hacked with login information for around 60 Web sites hosted on that platform - an estimated 90,000 account passwords - made public via the twitter account of a 23 year-old Swedish Parliamentarian, William Petzail.

Petzail, who is currently hospitalized, involuntarily, on account of his struggle with alcohol and prescription drugs is not believed to be responsible for the breach.

Petzail’s lawyer contends his client’s Twitter account was hijacked and that he is not responsible for publishing the information.
Blogtoppen’s operator, Jimmy Holmund, told the another Swedish publication, TT news agency that the hack was the result of “a weakness in the code that lies behind the service". Blogtoppen has since been shut down and will remain offline “until further notice”, according to a notice posted on the site.

Local reports note that prominent journalists and members of Sweden’s Liberal Party were exposed in the leak. Though news of the breach broke this week, local reports note that much of the exposed information was made public in August by a Twitter user operating under the handle, “sc3a5j.” The hacker responsible for that account claims he published the information to make users aware that their information was not being handled properly. However, the breach went largely unnoticed until the information was posted to Petzail’s account.