Population registry info leak sparks call for investigations

Files contain personal information on Israeli citizens that could be used without authorization by Internet marketers and cyber-criminals.

computer virus 88 (photo credit: )
computer virus 88
(photo credit: )
Vital Population Registry information was leaked and posted on the Internet, prompting the Interior Ministry to demand an investigation into the incident. The data files, compiled by the Interior Ministry on all Israeli citizens, contain personal information that could potentially be used without authorization by Internet marketers, and of course cyber-criminals. According to an Army Radio report Monday morning, besides the potential financial harm poised to everyday citizens as a result of the leak, the downloadable data included particularly sensitive information, such as the addresses of senior government and security officials. The Interior Ministry, which is entrusted to protect the information, issued a statement Monday saying that it had passed the data on to the political parties running for the Knesset in the last election, in accordance with the law, and only then did the information show up in file sharing sites on-line. The data was first noticed on-line following the elections held last March, leading ministry officials to believe individuals within the different political parties had released the information to unauthorized parties. The officials said that the information handed over to political parties was their responsibility, and they all signed documents agreeing not to pass it on to other bodies. Head of the Interior Ministry Population Registry, Sassi Katzir, told Army Radio he planned to ask for a formal investigation into how the information ended up on-line. He dismissed the possibility that the information could have been leaked by an individual inside his ministry. Police officials would not confirm that an official investigation had been opened into who was responsible for the leak. Officials at the Justice Ministry said they were not familiar with any investigation, and, without addressing the specific allegations, and that the privacy of the personal information of Israelis is required by law to be kept confidential. Ruth Eglash contributed to this report.