Bulgaria hack: 20-year-old infosec whizz cuffed after 'adult population's' finance deets nicked

Bosses stick up for suspect, claim he's being framed for pinching 5m folks' data


A 20-year-old infosec bod has been arrested in Bulgaria after most of the country's population had their personal and financial details stolen.

Local media reported (in Bulgarian, so get your translation hat on) that "more than 5 million" people's data – almost the entire adult population, according to Reuters, had been lifted from the Bulgarian tax service's database.

Bulgaria has a population of 7 million, according to the CIA Factbook. Snippets of the data were reportedly sent by the hackers to local media outlets – in much the same way as by the criminal who stole tens of thousands of people's personal data from British supermarket chain Morrison's.

The hacker's email said around 110 databases had been compromised, according to Reuters, which added that finance minister Vladislav Goranov said 3 per cent of the records of the Bulgarian tax agency, unfortunately abbreviated in English as NRA, had been accessed.

One newspaper, 24 Chasa, said it had been sent the details of 1.1 million people's national insurance numbers along with details of their income and healthcare arrangements, according to Reuters.

Security journalist Graham Cluley wrote a useful roundup that centres around the arrest of one Kristian Boykov, a researcher who works for infosec outfit TAD Group. In a (translated) statement the company said: "Christian is our 2017 official in the 'Cybersecurity Expert' position. As part of the company, Christian has always been ethical, professional and loyal to his work commitments, including our clients and the entire team."

Boykov, 20, is said to have worked with local police after discovering another data breach a few years ago. Reports of a local telly interview with his lawyers and the local country manager of TAD Group suggest they don't think Boykov was responsible for the data heist. Indeed, they suggest he might have been framed.

The investigation continues. Nobody has yet been charged. ®


Other stories you might like

  • OpenID-based security features added to GitHub Actions as usage doubles

    Single-use tokens and reusable workflows explained at Universe event

    GitHub Universe GitHub Actions have new security based on OpenID, along with the ability to create reusable workflows, while usage has nearly doubled year on year, according to presentations at the Universe event.

    The Actions service was previewed three years ago at Universe 2018, and made generally available a year later. It was a huge feature, building automation into the GitHub platform for the first time (though rival GitLab already offered DevOps automation).

    It require compute resources, called runners, which can be GitHub-hosted or self-hosted. Actions are commands that execute on runners. Jobs are a sequence of steps that can be Actions or shell commands. Workflows are a set of jobs which can run in parallel or sequentially, with dependencies. For example, that deployment cannot take place unless build and test is successful. Actions make it relatively easy to set up continuous integration or continuous delivery, particularly since they are cloud-hosted and even a free plan offers 2,000 automation minutes per month, and more than that for public repositories.

    Continue reading
  • REvil gang member identified living luxury lifestyle in Russia, says German media

    Die Zeit: He's got a Beemer, a Bitcoin watch and a swimming pool

    German news outlets claim to have identified a member of the infamous REvil ransomware gang – who reportedly lives the life of Riley off his ill-gotten gains.

    The gang member, nicknamed Nikolay K by Die Zeit newspaper and the Bayerische Rundfunk radio station, reportedly owns a €70,000 watch with a Bitcoin address engraved on its face and rents yachts for €1,300 a day whenever he goes on holiday.

    "He seems to prefer T-shirts from Gucci, luxurious BMW sportscars and large sunglasses," reported Die Zeit, which partly identified him through social media videos posted by his wife.

    Continue reading
  • A Windows 11 tsunami? No, more of a ripple as Microsoft's latest OS hits 5% PC market

    Next version of Windows 10 looms around the corner

    Microsoft's Windows 11 OS has notched up a respectable near 5 per cent of PCs surveyed by AdDuplex, as another Dev Channel build was unleashed with new features for the favoured few.

    With less than a month of General Availability under its belt, Windows 11 now accounts for 4.8 per cent of "modern" PCs (Windows Insiders running the OS account for 0.3 per cent) according to the ad platform. The figure is up from the 1.3 per cent in September, which was Insider-only and points to some migration to the production version of the software.

    The figure is both an indicator of Microsoft's cautious approach to releasing its wares and the limited amount of hardware that can actually run the round-cornered OS.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021