9Near hacker ‘identified’ after threatening to leak data of 55 million Thais
The Criminal Court on Monday ordered a block on the website 9near.org in Thailand after it threatened to release personal data of 55 million Thais reportedly leaked from vaccine registrations.
The court also said that any websites found publishing data from 9near.org will also be blocked.
The ruling came in response to a petition by the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry, which expects the hacker to be arrested soon.
The website’s operator, known as “9Near – Hactivist”, announced on the Breach Forum website that he had obtained the personal data of 55 million Thai nationals. He claimed the data included names, surnames, birthdates, ID card numbers and telephone numbers.
The Rural Doctors Society claimed last week the data had been leaked from the Public Health Ministry’s Immunisation Centre.
9Near also threatened to publish the identities of organisations that had leaked the data unless they contacted him by 4pm on Wednesday (April 5).
“Almost election, decide wisely,” said a message on the website. “We are not kidding.”
The dark web Breach Forum is a website where personal data leaked from state agencies or private firms is bought and sold.
Last week, DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn contacted the 9near.org website’s hosting service, which is located overseas, to have it shut down. But after failing to receive an answer, the ministry sought a blocking order from the court.
Monday’s court order is effective immediately.
However, an announcement posted on the website on Sunday reads: “To all: Good news… “OPERATION STOPPED” as our sponsor conflict. As we don’t wanna hurt all of you and also we disagree with this dirty political operation as their plan went too dirty. So we have no reason to continue making this privacy disaster.”
It went on: “At least these few days, we see the great movement how government should concern on citizen security and privacy.”
The message also contained a warning to “our (Anonymous?) sponsor”:
“Bro, Per our latest talk, As you actual plan is not our purpose. It is for yourself not the people. You see the impact we made on your political sh*t? You think we met anonymously and then we talk anonymously? We know who exactly you are and what side you are in. Also, we think Thai people know. Same countdown, finish the negotiation before something happens.”
In response to the announcement, Chaiwut said the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau has identified the suspect and expected to announce an arrest soon. He added that the hacker is a Thai national.