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PNG Government Tackle Leaked Database

TechInPacific – On Monday (21/09), Minister for Information and Communication Technology Hon. Timothy Masiu announced the Ministry’s action to assess vulnerability levels of the leaked database by Chinese data analytics company, Zhenhua Data.

According to Masiu, the collection sources trace back to public sources such as social media and websites.

“At face value, one could write this off as some sort of general data analytic activity,” Masiu said. “However, the types of data collected clearly indicate there is certain interest at play.”

“Thus, we will not rest until we confirm the organizations and the people and their intentions behind this data-mining exercise and whether their actions are legitimate.”

After 96 hours of analyzation, Masiu confirmed the following information:

  • The leaked database contains data of 2.4 million individuals;
  • The database contains a broad array of public and non-public data with classifications;

“At this stage, and from what we are able to access, we can confirm that names of 150 Papua New Guinean’s have been cited and that:

  • From the 150 people listed 63 of them are classified as active;
  • From the 63 active profile 9 are female and 54 males;
  • From the 63 profiles, 15 have been profiled with profile notes that cover their association to business or organizations as well as their Political or criminal briefs;
  • 19 of the people listed in the exposed data are further classified under 5 categories (No Classification, Trafficking, Financial Crimes, Organised Crime and Corruption;

The exposed list contains general information about persons profiled under 3 categories

  1. Special Interest Person (SIP) – 19 Total Count;
  2. Politically Exposed Person (PEP) – 96 Total Count; and
  3. Relative or Close Association (RCA) – 34 Total Count.

“One key takeaway from this experience is that, like other countries, we are reminded of our vulnerabilities and that as a Government, we will remain ever vigilant,” Masiu said.

“In fact, as a Government, we endorsed strategic ICT policy and legislative reform last month in the form of the PNG Digital Transformation Policy.”

“Once the Bill is passed, the data hosting and associated security regulations will help us to ensure our people’s data collected by public bodies are secure and protected and this will also give us the capability of monitoring data breaches in the future.”

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