Hackers Buy Biometric Info Of US Soldiers, Allies Off eBay


According to Yahoo News, a group of hackers purchased biometric capture devices from eBay in order to find biometric data about people who helped the U.S. military.

A group called the Chaos Computer Club (also known as the CCC) read a story in the Intercept 2021 about the Taliban seizing U.S. biometric devices. They wanted to know how easy it was to get the data, or if it even existed.

These devices were called Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment, (HIIDE) and were “used to help ID locals working in the coalition,” a military contractor told the Intercept.

The CCC purchased six devices when they found them on eBay. Most of the devices were less than 200 euros. The names, nationalities, and fingerprints of 2,632 people were all stored on a $68 device. According to the New York Times, most of the people on the memory card were from Afghanistan or Iraq.

A third device was used in Jordan in 2013 and contained fingerprints as well as iris scans for U.S. soldiers. The New York Times confirmed that the data on the device was likely his with a Marine intelligence specialist, who stated that his data was likely taken during a training course.

Another legal device, the Secure Electronic Enrollment kit (SEEK II), contained data collected during “detainment areas, on patrols, screenings of local hires, and after an explosion of an improvised explosive bomb.”

Matthias Marx, one of the buyers, said that it was troubling that the buyer didn’t try to protect the data. He was referring to the absence of encryption.

He continued, “They didn’t care about risk or ignored it.”

The Defense Department recommends that all devices containing sensitive data be turned over to the authorities.

“Because the department has not reviewed the data contained on the devices,” stated Brigadier General Patrick S. Ryder (press secretary for the Defense Department).

The group said that it would delete all sensitive data after analyzing the data, according to the New York Times.