Cyber Security
Data Leak

Hack of the Century: Data leak of 1 billion Chinese citizens

Background

As the growth of the internet continues at break-neck speeds, the world is witnessing a staggering rise of people coming online. Today we will talk about the greatest data leak of all time. As of March 2022, more than 66.2% of the nearly eight billion human population is using the internet, with more than 53.4% of this percentage coming from the continent of Asia alone. 

As more people join the Internet, so do their Data. From card details to home addresses, phone numbers, criminal records, email IDs, etc. all types of data are being shared in light of the interactions between people and the various facets of the Internet

What happened in China?

Recently, a case of data breach came to light in the People’s Republic of China. An anonymous hacker by the name of “ChinaDan” claims to have stolen the data of almost one billion people. 

Chinese netizens are in a state of panic and shock, with many discussing the same on Chinese social media platforms like Weibo and WeChat, leading the government to ban the widely trending hashtag “Data Leak” from Weibo. 

In light of the government’s ban on the aforementioned hashtag, Kendra Schaefer, head of tech policy research at the Beijing-based consultancy firm Trivium China, came out on Twitter and said that it is “hard to parse truth from rumour mill”. If the material the hacker claimed to have come from the Ministry of Public Security, it would be bad for “a number of reasons”, Schaefer said. “Most obviously it would be among the biggest and worst breaches in history,” she adds.

Check Out: 2000 Websites Hacked: Cyber War against India

The Hack of the Century

It all began when the hacker “ChinaDan” posted about the same on a dark web-based hacker forum “Breach Forum” last week, asking for 10 Bitcoin (equivalent to USD 200,000) in exchange for more than 23 TB (Terabytes) of stolen data. “In 2022, the Shanghai National Police (SHGA) database was leaked. This database contains many TB of data and information on Billions of Chinese citizens,” the post mentions. Neither the Government of Shanghai nor the city’s police department has put out any comments on such a data breach.

The Data Leak has led various renowned tech companies like Binance to step up their security measures, with CEO Zhao Changpeng tweeting about the same. Changpeng further tweeted how the breach might have been caused by the deployment of Elastic’s search technology by a ‘government’ agency for the latter’s database, without naming the police department. 

This led to a reaction from the company ‘Elastic’ saying that it is wrong to cite it as a source of such a breach. Later, the Binance CEO added that the breach took place because a developer working for the government had written a technological blog on China Software Developer Network (CSDN) and had accidentally included the credentials for such a database in the same.

Conclusion 

The hack comes at a time when the Mainland Chinese government has vowed to curb such internet threats and to protect the data privacy of internet users. Last year, on the 1st of November, 2021, the People’s Republic of China officially initiated its new law on data privacy called the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which aims to provide a more comprehensive framework for China’s protection of data privacy and cybersecurity. 

Both local and international businesses are impacted by the new privacy regulation to the extent that they handle or use the personal data of Chinese citizens. The recent data leak puts a further dent in the data management systems in Mainland China, and puts various other individuals, in and outside of the nation, at risk of such data leaks in the whole world.

If you want to keep your data secured, and not be a part of the next data leak then get in touch with the best cyber security services provider.

Author

Aman Nick

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