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Cyber-criminals target private information of millions of Spanish vehicle drivers


High profile cyber-attacks continue to hit Spain with police investigating whether the private information of millions of vehicle drivers has been offered up for sale online.

According to a report by Spain’s Department of National Security, the total number of cyberattacks registered last year nearly doubled from 2022 to over 100,000 incidents, 130 of which were classed as "critical".

In recent weeks, three of Spain's largest companies - telecoms giant Telefonica, lender Santander and energy company Iberdrola - have reported suffering cyberattacks that led to breaches of employee and customer data.

In the latest incident, the Directorate-General of Traffic (DGT) detected suspicious activity from users trying to access its database. The DGT blocked them and alerted the Traffic Investigation and Analysis Group (GIAT), which opened an investigation, the Guardia Civil police force said.

The DGT's database contains detailed information - including licence plate numbers and insurance data - on more than 27 million drivers registered in Spain.

An anonymous user claimed in a post on the hacking crime forum BreachForums that they had "access to look up any licence plate or document number" and were selling the full DGT database.

"We'll have to see if there's any truth to what is being said. In data-selling forums, they often claim to be selling things they don't actually have," the DGT spokesperson said.

Last year the Spanish National Police dismantled a cybercriminal organisation that carried out a variety of scams and arrested 34 members of the crime group.

In January a cyberattack on the Spanish city of Calvià in Majorca saw hackers demanding 10 million euros to be paid to restore functionality to integral systems.

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