The private details of 24 New Zealanders registered on a now defunct cryptocurrency trading site have been found on the dark web.
About 5,000 driver’s licenses, passports and other data held by AlphaEx, which ended in August last year, have been published online.
Cyber-help charity IDCARE was unable to get hold of AlphaEx or any of the New Zealanders involved.
IDCARE Identity security operations center chief Moises Sanabria said it happened more than people thought.
“What sometimes happens is that the owners of these companies just drop off the site and the site continues to harvest information or register people who think they’re still working.
“And because they’ve taken the site down, then obviously the security isn’t as good anymore, or the updates aren’t in place anymore and people are finding backdoors or roundabout ways to access that information, which is probably what happened here.”
Privacy breaches were more likely to occur for companies that were no longer operational, he said.
“When a company goes bankrupt or goes into insolvency and they give up, they don’t really care about the future consequences.
“And even though the front door, saying, we’re out of business, what happens is the mess that stays in the back…because people’s data is there.”
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner encourages New Zealanders who may have been affected to contact IDCARE as soon as possible and to visit www.privacy.org.nz for more information and resources on rights and responsibilities on privacy in New Zealand.