President Obama’s Passport Number Leaked By Australia’s Department Of Immigration And Border Protection
The personal visa information and passport numbers of 31 world leaders, including President Barack Obama, was leaked accidentally by the Australian Immigration Department in November.
Passport Numbers Of 31 World Leaders Leaked
It was revealed this week that President Obama, as well as all the world leaders who attended the G20 summit in November 2014, had their private information accidentally compromised. According to a new report, an employee of Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection accidentally sent a list of the passport numbers, visa details and other information of all the G20 attendees to organizers of the Asian Cup football tournament in November, and never revealed the mistake publicly.
“The personal information which has been breached is the name, date of birth, title, position nationality, passport number, visa grant number and visa subclass held relating to 31 international leaders (ie prime ministers, presidents and their equivalents) attending the G20 leaders summit,” stated the department in an internal report obtained by The Guardian.
President Obama, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping are just a few of the 31 major world leaders whose private information was leaked, but Australia’s Department of Immigration is claiming that the leak posed no real threat. According to the internal report, the leak occurred when the sender simply forgot to double check the recipient’s e-mail address and accidentally sent the email list to the wrong person. The sender of the e-mail allegedly recognized the mistake about 10 minutes after having sent the e-mail and contacted the recipient right away. The email, Austrailia’s Department of Immigration stated, was then immediately deleted.
The Asian Cup organizers have not reported any sort of breach to their system, and Australian authorities stated in their report that they are not worried about hackers using the information, especially since most of the information on the list was already public (names, titles, etc).
“While the passport information could potentially be used for unknown purposes by the other party who inadvertently received the email, there are no circumstances that I am aware of which make me consider that likely,” the Australian Department continued in the report.
According to the report, the leak took place on Nov. 7, 2014, and, because of the minimal risk, officials didn’t believe it was necessary to contact the “clients of the breach.” However, it is unclear whether or not the officials ended up contacting the world leaders involved.
When confronted about the leak, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection assured CNN that the leak had been dealt with and that they had taken steps to avoid any similar problems in the future. “The Department has reviewed and strengthened its email protocols to limit and contain future breaches,” they said in a statement.