Cyber Criminals sell copies of Russian passports in Telegram

Cyber Criminals sell copies of passports, Individual Taxpayer Number, Insurance Number of Individual Ledger Account and driving licenses of Russian citizens in Telegram channels.

Businesswoman Maria Podlesnova found channels that publish personal data.
"If you do a Telegram search and you type in"passport", you will find channels with thousands of passport data, ITN or Insurance Number of Individual Ledger Account", - she wrote in her Facebook page.

Most of these channels were created in late 2017 and early 2018. Users of Telegram can easily buy different versions of the documents. For example, photos of passport and residence permit cost 100 RUB (108 INR). If you want to buy more documents, such as ITN or Insurance Number of Individual Ledger Account, the price will increase up to 150 RUB (163 INR),

How do photos of valid passports appear in the public domain and who buys them?

One of the possible vector is that cyber criminals often hack into the database of micro-finance institutions and get photos of documents.

"People often send photos of their passports to unknown organizations or upload them to file sharing sites to have permanent access to the scan. As a result, an unlimited number of people can get access to the photos", — said Vladimir Zykov, IT-specialist, Director of the Association of Professional Users of Social Networks and Messengers.

Those documents and photographs of person allow attackers to buy a SIM card, hack accounts in social networks or register for car-sharing services that have online verification.

It should be noted that the sale of personal data of citizens via the Internet violates the law of the Russian Federation "On Personal Data". It prohibits the collection and dissemination of personal data without the consent of the citizen. Violators will be fined or even imprisoned for up to two years.

- Christina