Coronavirus

Data of 16 million Brazilians leaked in Health Ministry breach

Data of 16 million Brazilians leaked in Health Ministry breach
Coronavirus testing in Brazil. Photo: SECOM/Salvador

A password leak giving access to systems of Brazil’s Health Ministry exposed the personal data of 16 million-plus Brazilians who took Covid-19 tests. Information such as individual taxpayer IDs, addresses, telephone numbers, and pre-existing medical conditions were made public online for almost a month.

The list of people who had their information made public without their consent includes President Jair Bolsonaro, the heads of both congressional houses, and 17 state governors.

According to newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo, the data breach was not the result of a hack. Instead, an employee of São Paulo-based flagship institution Albert Einstein Hospital posted a list of usernames and passwords on source code management website GitHub that would grant access to a massive database of Covid-19 patients from all 27 states.

The incident is further proof that the Brazilian government is simply not equipped to safely handle sensitive data online.

Support this coverage →Support this coverage →
Close