Personal details of 8,700 French visa applicants exposed by hackers
The government said that the attack was ‘quickly neutralised’ but that individuals’ names, dates of birth, passport and identity card numbers had been exposed
At least 8,700 visa applicants had their names, dates of birth, passport or identity card numbers revealed, but the data leaked did not include bank details or GDPR sensitive information Pic: ImageFlow / Shutterstock
A cyber-attack has compromised the data of around 8,700 people applying for visas to visit or move to France via the France-Visas website.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior – who jointly manage France-Visas – announced on Friday (August 3) that the cyber-attack had targeted a section of the site, which receives approximately 1.5 million applications per month.
The ministries said in a statement that the attack had “been quickly neutralised,” although certain personal details – including names, passport and identity card numbers, nationalities and birth dates – had been leaked.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told The Connexion that no details of the nationalities affected or other information about the applicants could be given out to the press.
Not all of the people affected will have had all of these details exposed during the attack.
“This data could be subject to misuse, although its potential is limited due to the fact that it does not contain bank details or sensitive personal data from a GDPR [data protection] perspective,” the ministries added.
“No one will be able to begin any administrative processes in the name of the person whose details have been hacked, whether on France-Visas or on any other French government website.”
Those whose details were revealed have been sent messages “containing safety recommendations and precautionary measures.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with the Ministry of the Interior to “secure the platform” and prevent “events of this type from happening again.”
The French information science commission, Cnil, was informed about the attack and a judicial investigation is currently underway.