FB pixel

Russia investigates claims of biometric data leak

Authorities spot unauthorized access but say passport records safe
Russia investigates claims of biometric data leak

The Russian Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) are investigating claims of a leak on Monday affecting biometric data from passports issued by the Federal State Autonomous Institution (FGAU) Voskhod Research.

According to Russian media company RBC, the Ministry has found no evidence of the leaked data yet, which was first reported by the publication and a Telegram channel called “Before everyone else. Well, almost.”

The information from RBC hints at a threat actor infiltrating the PVDN database, which Voskhod Research uses for processing personal data and biometrics and issuing electronic passports. The media firm adds that the hacker may have accessed “tens of percent of the passport database, which has been maintained since 2006.”

The allegedly stolen information pertains not only to Russian passports but also to some from citizens of Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Initial findings from the joint Ministry of Digital Transformation and the FSB claim that while they found no evidence of a leak, they did spot unauthorized access to the Voskhod Research internal network.

Further, the authorities state that even if threat actors had obtained access to the biometric data, the data was encrypted. Decryption keys are stored at a separate location from where the data was taken, in a facility owned by Goznak, a separate joint-stock company responsible for R&D and manufacturing security products.

Talking to RBC, Vladimir Arlazarov, CEO of Smart Engines, the company behind the development of Russia’s (and other countries’) passport technology, says there is a slight chance the alleged attacker could manage to decrypt the data.

This, the executive adds, could enable the creation of forged identities. Because of this, Arlazarov suggests potentially affected passport holders cancel their documents and apply for new ones.

The alleged leak and connected investigation come weeks after Russian authorities unveiled plans to award an 830 million-ruble (US$10.9 million) contract to create facial recognition stations on the country’s border.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


Scottish Government emphasizes security of new platform for digital public services

Scotland is talking up the data security measures designed and build into ScotAccount, a single-sign on (SSO) service designed to…


Zambia, Namibia, Tanzania upgrade digital ID systems in concert with development partners

Zambia has carried out a major first step in its transition towards a modern legal and digital identity system, by…


Bermuda delays facial recognition deployment for national CCTV project

Bermuda’s government will not be deploying facial recognition capabilities in its CCTV system, at least for now, due to unspecified…


Florida Police deploy Idemia ABIS for latent fingerprint biometric analysis

Idemia Public Security North America has announced the implementation of its automated biometric identification system, Storm ABIS, by forensics examiners…


Limit to accrual of biometric data privacy violation penalties a step away in Illinois

Illinois legislators have approved amendments to the state’s notorious Biometric Information Privacy Act to limit the definition of violations under…


AI deepfakes are wreaking havoc on an unprepared financial industry

The identity of the firm targeted in a deepfake video scam that resulted in the loss of US$25 million has…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events