Man arrested for stealing personal info from most of Greece

A hacker was arrested for possessing (and allegedly trying to sell) a database containing the personal information of 9 million Greek citizens. The population of Greece is roughly 11 million.


Kevin Collier


Published Nov 23, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 6:47 am CDT

If you’re Greek, odds are you’ve been hacked.

Greek police have arrested a computer programmer suspected of stealing and trying to sell the personal information of the majority of the country’s residents.

Police said Tuesday that the unnamed 35-year-old man had more than 9 million people’s information, including tax records, license plate numbers, and personal addresses, and that they suspected he acquired them by hacking.

It’s tough to put an exact number on what percentage of Greeks were hacked. The country is notoriously inaccurate in its census numbers, which officially put its population at just under 11 million. As Wired notes, Greece is a haven for illegal immigrants trying to get into the EU, and some of them would have ended up in the alleged hacker’s database.

Besides, police said, at least some of the nine million personnel files in the man’s possession were duplicates.

According to the head of financial and electronic crimes police, Greek cops only began their investigation on Monday, when an employee at the country’s Data Protection Authority tipped them that someone possessed such a large collection of files on Greek citizens. Police said little else, save that they tracked the man down through the Internet and confiscated his computer.

He already faces felony charges of data theft, and will face additional charges if police determine he intended to sell the list.

Photo by cavorite/Flickr

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*First Published: Nov 23, 2012, 2:26 pm CST