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Millions of Russians' Personal Data Posted on Free Website

Names, addresses, account information, and other data posted by unknown source

Russian media are reporting the emergence of a Website that offers to deliver the personal information of millions of Russian and Ukrainian users for free over the Internet.

According to a broadcast this morning on Russia Today, a Website of unknown origin is offering data on "millions" of Russian citizens to anyone who registers online. The report did not give the URL of the site.

A reporter who attempted to register for the site received an email promise that he will be sent a password "in a couple of days." This led some experts to conclude that the site might be a simple phishing attack, a hoax created to collect the registrant's personal data.

But the reporter also spoke to a number of users who claim they have been able to access the site and have collected a wide range of personal data on Russian citizens. Russia Today speculates that the data may be a compilation of multiple databases that have been stolen previously and sold on the black market.

The site's operators have effectively hidden their identities, according to the report. The site's URL is registered to an organization in Panama, but the data is hosted on a server in St. Louis, the report states.

Lawyers quoted in the report say the citizens who are affected by the posting could file legal charges, but experts said they are pessimistic about the prospects of punishing the site owners.

"Today there are no international documents that could help solve this situation," said Leyla Neyman, a media lawyer. "The site is in .com, not .ru registration zone. And hardly anything could be done."

Aleksey Sabanov, Russian IT security expert, says he has seen many similar cases. "We now observe a well-organized trade of these databases. One of the main questions is accuracy of the information sold," he said.

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