Recently, China’s biggest data leak has continuously raised public concerns inside and outside the country. The Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau database was allegedly leaked on a large scale, involving the personal information of one billion Chinese citizens. Some analysts have suggested that the data leak may be related to high-level power struggles within the CCP.
As reported, an internet user named “ChinaDan” posted on the hacker forum “Breach Forums” on June 30, offering ten bitcoins (equivalent to 220,000 USD) to sell a copied sample of a piece of data in the massive amount of data obtained from the Shanghai police.
This person also said in the post, “In 2022, the database of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau was leaked. The database contains terabytes of data and information of billions of Chinese citizens”, “The database contains information of one billion Chinese citizens and billions of case files, including name, address, place of birth, identity card number, mobile phone number, all the details of the case.”
As a seller, “ChinaDan” also provides a sample dataset containing 750.000 pieces of data. The sample dataset has been uploaded to the forum’s server.
‘Don’t worry about this, we already know‘
The revelation sparked heated discussions on Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo and WeChat, and many worried that their personal information had been leaked.
The Epoch Times reporter called the Shanghai Municipal Government on Wednesday, July 6, to inquire about the authenticity of the matter and was told, “Go to the Public Security Bureau.”
The reporter then called the Shanghai Public Security Bureau to ask about the matter, but a policeman asked the reporter: Where are you? After knowing the reporter’s call was from abroad, the policeman said: “Don’t worry about this, we already know.”
On Thursday, July 7, an Epoch Times reporter obtained a sample database of 750.000 people published by ChinaDan and found that, as he claimed, the database sample contained detailed personal information, as well as details of police case files.
Based on some of the revealed information in the sample database, the reporter called several people to verify. One of them, Mr. Gu, who lives in Qingdao, confirmed the authenticity of the information about him to reporters. But Mr. Gu said he had never been to Shanghai and had no connection with the city.
Sensitive information about the CCP
In addition, according to leaked case information, there are a handful of cases involving Falun Gong practitioners, a religious group that the CCP has persecuted for many years. When some people who did not know the truth received flyers, faxes, and phone calls from Falun Gong practitioners, due to receiving false government propaganda for many years, they reported it to the local public security agency and requested the dispatch of the police.
One of them, a resident of Zhoujiadu Street, Pudong, Shanghai, reported to the police that he received two A4-size color newspapers and a booklet containing information about Falun Gong in his home mailbox and asked the police to come and handle it. Police files show that the Shanghai Public Security Bureau was notified, asking China’s national security to take over.
Police data shows that there are many cases of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau arresting and persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. For example, Ms. Zhou Xianwen 周贤文 was arrested in July 2007, and a large amount of information about Falun Gong was seized. According to the persecution cases reported by the overseas website Minghui: Shanghai Falun Gong practitioner Zhou Xianwen has been abducted several times by the CCP and illegally detained in jails, labor camps, and brainwashing centers due to the ongoing persecution. On July 31, 2007, Ms. Zhou Xianwen was kidnapped by eight police officers from the Yangpu County Public Security Bureau.
On June 24, 2019, Ms. Zhou Xianwen was abducted by the National Security Police in the New Pudong District, Shanghai, and then taken to the Zhangjiang Detention Center in the New Pudong for detention and illegal persecution. Ms. Xianwen, who was initially healthy, developed severe heart disease, high blood pressure, and other symptoms after being persecuted in prison. In September of the same year, she was “out on bail pending trial” and returned home. On August 8, 2021, Ms. Zhou Xianwen passed away due to her condition.
Behind the power struggle
The data leak of more than 1 billion people in the Shanghai police database has shocked the global cybersecurity community, with mixed opinions about why these sensitive documents were leaked.
Some analysts suggest that this may be due to the internal affairs of the CCP’s public security agency rather than a hacker attack. Some analysts also point out that Gong Daoan, a former director of public security in Shanghai who was fired after being investigated last year, may also be involved.