A police investigation into a Russian hacker known as 'Kirllos' has established the hacker had no link to New Zealand.
Detective Senior Sergeant John van den Heuvel of the Police National Cyber Crime Centre says reports that the hacker was living in New Zealand and attempting to sell the login details of Facebook users were wrong.
"'Kirllos' has been traced back to Saransk, Russia. The only connection between him and New Zealand is that he changed his underground forum profile to that of a female from New Zealand."
It was reported that 'Kirllos' offered the user names and passwords of 1.5 million Facebook users for between $35 and $62.70 per 1000 accounts sold and he did this via an underground online forum. The New York Times reported that the login details of as many as 700,000 Facebook accounts had already been sold.
"He is still in Russia and there is no information to suggest he has ever been to New Zealand. Russian Police are now investigating," Mr van den Heuvel says.
"We have been in touch with Facebook's Security team who also believe the hacker has never been based in New Zealand."
The investigation into 'Kirllos' is now concluded.