Hacker claims to have stolen data of 1 billion Chinese people from police

A hacker nicknamed ChinaDan would have stolen the personal data of nearly a billion Chinese in hacking into the country’s police systems. He demands a ransom of 190,000 euros in bitcoins. If confirmed, it could be the biggest data breach of all time.

The biggest data breach of all time?

Shanghai police fell victim to the biggest cyberattack of all time? It is quite possible if we are to believe the words of ChinaDan. This anonymous hacker posted a message on the hacker forum Breach Forums last week. He offers to sell 23 TB of data for 10 bitcoins, or approximately 190,000 euros. According to cybersecurity experts, if confirmed, it could indeed be one of the biggest data breaches in history.

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In its message, ChinaDan explains that “Shanghai National Police database leaked. This database contains billions of data and information on several billion Chinese citizens.. He specifies that he would be in possession of a database which contains the personal information of one billion Chinese residents and several billion pieces of information, such as name, address, place of birth, national identification number, mobile phone number, all details of crimes, etc.

It wouldn’t be the first time that China has experienced a major data leak. In 2016, sensitive information about powerful Chinese figures, including Alibaba founder Jack Ma, was posted on Twitter. Incidents that alarmed the Chinese authorities. Indeed, last year, China passed laws to regulate how personal information and data generated within its borders should be handled.

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One billion Chinese residents could be affected

At this time, the Chinese government and the Shanghai Police Department have not responded to requests for comment. His message was discussed on Chinese platforms Weibo and WeChat over the weekend. Many users fear that it could be real. The hashtag #DataLeak has even been blocked on Weibo on Sunday afternoon. According to Kendra Schaefer, head of technology policy research at consultancy Trivium China, “it is very difficult to distinguish the truth from the rumor”.

If this anonymous hacker actually has so much data stolen from Chinese police, it’s bound to be bad for a number of reasons. Schaefer states that “obviously this would be one of the biggest and worst breaches in history”. According to Zhao Changpeng, CEO of Binance, data on nearly one billion Chinese residents have recently been sold on the dark web. He did not refer to ChinaDan’s post, but the two cases may be related.

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SAKHRI Mohamed

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