The data of a billion people is for sale on the dark web

The data of a billion people is for sale on the dark web

Selling personal data on the dark web is hardly new, but the data theft that occurred in China could be the biggest in history, if the incident happens.

Apparently, a group of currently unknown hackers allegedly breached the Shanghai police database, obtaining the data of one billion Chinese citizens. The authorities have only stated that investigations are underway.

The stolen data includes telephone numbers, identity documents and even criminal record data. In total, the data exceeds 23 terabytes and would currently be on sale for around US $ 200,000, equal to 10 bitcoins.

The incident was also detected by the cryptocurrency exchange's "Threat Intelligence" department Chinese Binance, whose CEO announced the situation on Twitter.

Our threat intelligence detected 1 billion resident records for sell in the dark web, including name, address, national id, mobile, police and medical records from one asian country. Likely due to a bug in an Elastic Search deployment by a gov agency. This has impact on…

- CZ Binance (@cz_binance) July 3, 2022

Currently, not much else is known about the case or about the perpetrators of the attack. However, it appears that the breach would originate from a third-party provider, in this case responsible for the cloud infrastructures.

As we said, it is the first time that a data theft reaches a similar entity, with a billion people involved and over 23 TB of stolen data and all that is known is that an anonymous user, known under the nickname of "ChinaDan", he allegedly put the data up for sale on a dark web forum known as Breach Forums.

The Chinese government has blocked the hashtag "data leak" on Weibo and WeChat and, considered the strict promise from the authorities regarding online privacy and data protection, we understand how, potentially, it could be a rather disastrous event, provided that it is confirmed.