1 billion would be the potential victims of another data theft by hackers in China.
As Bloomberg reports, in recent months a single user or an as-yet-unspecified team allegedly breached Shanghai police databases, gaining access to the personal information of 1 billion Chinese people.
According to the source, the massive archive of 23 terabytes of data went up for sale on the dark web for 10 bitcoins, over $198,000.
After the event, the hashtag “Shanghai Data Leak” spread on Twitter. The data includes the victims’ names, addresses, birthplaces, ID numbers and mobile phones.
The Wall Street Journal obtained part of the archive, partially verifying its accuracy by cross-referencing public information about crimes in which the Shanghai police have been interested since 1995. It is not yet clear how the hacker penetrated the database police records, but the first investigations speak of an access obtained through an Alibaba group cloud computing company, called Aliyun, on whose servers the archive was located.
Alibaba itself is investigating the matter. If confirmed, it would be the most serious data leak in China’s history. The country has seen an escalation in security incidents in recent years. In 2016, sensitive information about Chinese managers and entrepreneurs was tweeted, including Alibaba founder Jack Ma. By 2020, China’s most popular social network, Weibo, admitted to stealing the data of more than 538 million users, while in 2022, where Chinese police servers in Xinjiang Region were hacked to steal evidence of abuses the Beijing government towards the Uyghur ethnic minority.
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