According to Reuters, a hacker claimed to have stolen data of one billion China residents’ personal information. It will be the most significant data breach in China’s history if the claim is confirmed.
On hacker forum Breach Forums, user ChinaDan published a post offering to sell 23 terabytes containing one billion Chinese residents and case records for 10 Bitcoins ($200,000).
The hacker said the hacked database included “name, address, birthplace, national ID number, mobile number, all crime/case details” of Chinese citizens from Shanghai Police files.
The claimed hack has been a most-discussed topic on China social media until authorities censured it.
Users on Breach Forums analyzed a data sample and discussed the authenticity of the data, mainly due to the shocking price for such important information.
Zhao Changpeng, CEO of Binance, the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, said on Twitter that the hack was probably due to a “bug in an Elastic Search deployment by a [Chinese] government agency.”
According to Asia Markets, one netizen said that 10 bitcoins is “too cheap” for government information because “you risk being hunted and killed for it.”
Although social media such as Weibo have tried to block the news, it still attracts much attention. Many users worry that this may be true.
The forum administrator closed the topic on Sunday night when there was an offer of 6 Bitcoins for the database.
On Sunday afternoon, the phrase “data leak” was blocked on Weibo.
Chinese authorities have not responded to requests for comment from several Western news outlets or published any official statement about the hack to the press.
Radio Free Asia reported that Mr. Chang, who understands some of the internal affairs of this incident, said that by studying the hacked database, experts in various fields would analyze the structure of the Chinese population, consumer groups, living habits, and criminal acts.