Hackers claim to have obtained a vast amount of information about a billion Chinese from a Shanghai police database, a hack that, if confirmed, could be one of the largest in history.
In a post on the hacking forum Breach Forums last week, someone using the username “ChinaDan” offered to sell nearly 24 terabytes (24 TB) of data, including “information about a billion people” Y “several billion case records” in exchange for 10 Bitcoins, worth approximately US$200,000.
The data allegedly includes information from the Shanghai National Police database, including names, addresses, national identification numbers and mobile phone numbers, as well as case details.
A sample of the data seen by The Associated Press included names, dates of birth, ages and mobile phone numbers. One person was listed as born in 2020, with her age as “1″, suggesting that information about minors was included in the data that was extracted.
The AP could not immediately verify the authenticity of the data samples. Shanghai police have not commented on the matter.
The data leak initially sparked discussion on Chinese social media platforms like Weibo, but censors have since blocked keyword searches for “shanghai data leak”.
Experts said the cyberattack, if confirmed, would be the largest in history.
Kendra Schaefer, a technology partner at research firm Trivium China, noted in a tweet that it is “difficult to analyze the truth of the rumours, but I can confirm that there is a file.”
Such data breaches are quite common, according to Michael GazleyCEO of Hong Kong-based security company Network Box.
“There are roughly 12 billion compromised accounts posted on the Dark Web right now. That’s more than the total number of people in the world”, he indicated, adding that most of the data leaks often come from the United States.