The top executive of the Sweden’s largest security company was declared bankrupt this week after his identity was stolen by a hacker.
Securitas AB’s 59-year-old CEO since 2007, Alf Goransson is appealing the July 10 bankruptcy decision which the Stockholm District Court adopted on the basis of incorrect information, the company said on Wednesday. The culprit used the CEO’s identity to apply for a loan of an undisclosed amount, after which a bankruptcy application was filed in his name.
Goransson’s identity was stolen in March, but he didn’t know he’d been hacked until this week, the company said.
The hack attack “has no effect on the company, other than that our CEO has been declared bankrupt,” spokeswoman Gisela Lindstrand said. “And that will hopefully only last until later today, depending on how soon they can remove the decision.”
However, the identity theft of a top Swedish executive has opened questions about security in a society that is leading the way in digitalization. Sweden is far more advanced than most of the world when it comes to replacing cash with digital payments. The country’s efforts to adopt transparency in all fields are also well documented.
Sweden encourages wide access to public information (employees can find out what their colleagues earn by checking with the tax authorities) and, like most other rich countries, online shopping and loan applications are increasing. However, all of this has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in identity theft.
Sweden’s response last year was an introduction of specific legislation to target the development. In the first six months of 2017, 12,800 crimes linked to hacked identities were reported in Sweden.
Goransson wasn’t informed until after the court’s decision and will now file an appeal. The appointed bankruptcy trustee has been informed and will support the appeal of the bankruptcy decision, which is expected to be removed, Securitas stated.
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