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Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Neill Fronde



FILE PHOTO: Unprotected data found for 106 million travellers.

106 million visitors to Thailand over the last 10 years were discovered to have had their personal information unsecured online. Comparitech, a cyber security firm that discovered the database, revealed that the data has been unprotected online without any password protection possibly for the last decade.

The unprotected data included people’s full names, passport numbers, gender, residency status, date they arrived in Thailand, type of visa, and their arrival card number. While news just broke of the leak, the cyber security firm discovered it on August 22 and contacted Thai officials who secured the unprotected data the next day.

The leader of the security tech firm said that information may have been compromised for anyone who has travelled to Thailand over the last 10 years, adding that he even found himself in the database. The unprotected data was uncovered by the search engine Censys indexing the site on August 20.

Perhaps in an attempt to stop any abuse of the unprotected data, the IP address is still active but the information is replaced with a message saying “This is honeypot, all access were logged.” [sic] (A honeypot, in cybersecurity terms, is a trap to find those that exploit a compromised website in order to catch them.)

Officials in Thailand claim that no unauthorised party accessed the vulnerable data, despite it being found by an outside security company. It’s unconfirmed how long the data was left online unprotected.

Privacy advocates who happened to have travelled to Thailand over the last 10 years will be concerned that their personal details have been available online. But authorities were quick to confirm that there is no direct risk, as no financial information or contact information was available in the database, so malicious actors could not steal money.

Still, many people would be uncomfortable knowing that their passport number, as well as their travel history and even their residency status, have been left unprotected online, perhaps for many years.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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