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Hacker Puts Details Of Millions Of Chileans Online In Security Demo

A Black-hat hacker, known as Anonymous Coward, based in Chile has compiled and released details of more than six million of fellow Chileans on the internet, a decision that was apparently motivated by his angst against the way the Chilean government manages the citizen's personal data.

Chilean newspaper El Mercurio said that the details included addresses, phone details, ID numbers, email addresses and academic details; the data was collated from various Chilean government websites although it is not clear whether the files were illegally obtained or whether it was readily available on the internet, in which case it is the Chilean government that will be shamed rather than the hacker.

Prosecutor Jose Ignacio Escobar will investigate how the data was obtained and posted on the internet; there are rumours that the data has already been made available on P2P network as a compressed file but it is unlikely that this will attract the attention of criminals as Chile is not a developed nation and the data did not include either banking accounts or credit card details.

Sensitive files can routinely be found on the internet simply by using Google's powerful filetype command to look for text, spreadsheet or other exotic file types.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.