The personal data of nearly every working adult in Bulgaria has been compromised in the country’s biggest cyber breach. The hacker targeted the country’s tax agency and was able to steal personal information including names, identification numbers, home addresses and financial earnings of nearly 5 million Bulgarian citizens. The country has a population of about 7 million.
He released half of the database to reporters and then posted the other half to several public forums. In an email to news outlets, the hacker reportedly wrote: “Your government is backward. The state of your cybersecurity is a parody.” Bulgarian authorities have arrested and charged a 20-year-old cybersecurity worker identified as Kristian Boykov, a former employee of the Bulgarian office of US cyber-security firm TAD group. He faces up to eight years in jail if found guilty.
Under GDPR the National Revenue Agency faces a possible 20 million euros (£18m) fine or 4% of its annual turnover if its security measures are found to be inadequate. According to a board member at the Commission for Personal Data Protection, Veselin Tselkov, “the amount of fine will depend on the number of people affected and the volume of leaked information.”
The country’s finance minister, Vladislav Goranov has apologised in parliament for the breach and it’s Prime Minister, Boyko Borisson in a meeting with security agencies described the suspect as a ‘wizard’ hacker and stresses that the government needs to hire similar ‘unique brains’ to work for it and not against it.
Incidents such as these provide a stark reminder to governments and business alike about the importance of investing in high standard cybersecurity.
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