Chinese VIPs' private info leaked to Twitter in latest hack
The leak adds to a number of high-profile hacks that have been taking place worldwide, putting in question whether we have any defense against malicious hackers at all, or are constantly at their mercy.
It included sensitive information, such as national ID numbers, addresses and phone numbers. If the information checks out, this will have become one of the biggest high-profile hacks in Chinese history, according to Reuters.
The news agency could not independently corroborate the data's accuracy, but the New York Times said it confirmed that some of China’s richest businessmen – including chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, Wang Jianlin, and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd chairman, Jack Ma, had had their information compromised.
One victim admitted to their information being stolen – Sima Nan, a politically-inclined TV celebrity.
The sensitive info was published on an enigmatic Twitter account going by the name @shenfenzheng – or, ‘identity card’ in Chinese. It has since become inaccessible.
"I am unclear about other people's (information), but mine is indeed the content registered on my public security household registration," Sima told Reuters by phone.
This appears to be in line with what @shenfenzheng said when the user posted the data: "Are you shocked by this information? I hope it can arouse thinking among fellow compatriots. Personal privacy in China is basically worthless.”
Trading in sensitive information is quite commonplace in China, although similar hacks have been making headlines worldwide, especially after the US Office of Personnel Management admitted to having millions of federal staff data compromised.
The two countries have also recently been at odds with each other - the US accused China of attacking other countries’ sensitive networks, including its own. But the Chinese have their own problems, especially the steep rise in the number of attacks (one in February almost appropriated the details of 20 million user accounts from Alibaba’s e-commerce website Taobao).
Twitter did not respond to Reuters’ comments. Neither did the Public Security Ministry, Alibaba or Dalian Wanda.