Feeds

Israeli gov nabs 6 for leaking population register

Personal details of 9 million citizens, including kids, online

High performance access to file storage

An employee of the Israeli Social Affairs Ministry has been arrested on suspicion of copying the personal details of nine million citizens listed in the population registry, according to the Justice Ministry.

The Justice Ministry's Law, Information and Technology Authority (LITA) announced on Monday that they had arrested six suspects in connection with the theft in 2006, and subsequent distribution, of the personal details from the registry, which included the names and details of minors and deceased citizens, according to Israeli news reports.

LITA said the employee stole the information, which included names, identification numbers, addresses, birth dates and relationships, and kept a copy of it at his home. After the man had been let go from his job, he gave a copy of the stolen data to a business associate, who passed it on to other people, who also passed it on, until it reached someone who created a software program called Agron 2006 with the information.

The Agron 2006 program allowed users to query the information of any of the listed citizens and was widely available to the public on file-sharing websites. According to the Justice Ministry, a website was even created to explain how to use the program and encourage others to distribute the information.

LITA investigations' department chief attorney Mili Bach said that "the online availability of the Population Registry and the Agron program was, for years, a blatant testimony to the intolerable gap that exists in Israel between the daily reality and the state law", according to Ynetnews, the English-language sister-site of Ynet, a popular Israeli news website.

However, the suspects in the case also told Ynetnews that the Agron program was used by everyone, including legal firms and businesses.

"What's so secretive here? This information can be found in the Yellow Pages and a thousand other places," one of the suspects told the news site.

"This is a very popular database. I noticed that a lot of people had it, so it didn’t occur to me that having a copy was prohibited," another suspect said. "I thought it was a basic names and addresses database. I didn't think it had sensitive or secret information."

Attorney Gil Dahoah, representing one of the suspects, also said that the population registry had been available to anyone for years and the state had not barred its use until now. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.