Hackers sold personal data from thousands of IDF soldiers, research results

The personal data of hundreds of thousands of army travelers were taken from IDF servers and sold to external parties, a report from the Israeli securities authority revealed on Sunday.

According to the Hadashot news, the ISA's investigation showed that soldiers and civilian contractors in the Meitav unit, handling recruitment management, visited the files of thousands of incoming IDF soldiers between 2011 and 2014.

The four suspects hacked the data by developing a computer program that combed the IDF files for the contact information of the recruits and their family members, who then sold them to marketing companies and other third parties.

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In recent years, soldiers have been complaining about receiving unsolicited marketing visits from groups claiming to offer help to soldiers and offering them various products and services at a reduced rate.

Some soldiers had expressed their concern that the telemarketers knew sensitive personal information about them, such as the possession of a foreign passport.

The group conducted the scam unnoticed for a number of years, but the increasing number of complaints led to the investigation by the Ministry of Justice.

As part of the investigation, the houses of the suspects were searched by the police and their computers were confiscated. All four were questioned by the police.

A swearing in for new recruits at the armored corps of the IDF on 9 May 2013. (Israel Defense Forces / File)

The ISA transferred its findings to the cyber unit at the prosecutor's office, noting that the scammers had probably violated a number of privacy laws.

Alon Bachar, the head of the ISA & # 39; s Privacy Protection Unit, said that the privacy measures within the IDF were insufficient.

"When personal information is collected from people as part of their military service, and not voluntarily, [the army] has the public duty to protect that privacy. "

He said the ISA dealt with the investigation with "great severity" because some of the victims were younger than 18.

The IDF did not comment on the report.

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