A hacker has claimed to have obtained the personal records of one billion Chinese citizens from a Shanghai police database, a claim which, if confirmed would be one of the largest data breaches in history.
The claim was made by a user going by the name of “ChinaDan” on well-known hacker forum Breach Forums last week, with the user offering to sell the data, more than 23 terabytes in total, for 10 bitcoin (approximately $200,000).
“In 2022, the Shanghai National Police (SHGA) database was leaked. This database contains many TB of data and information on Billions of Chinese citizen,” the forum post said.
“Databases contain information on 1 Billion Chinese national residents and several billion case records, including: name, address, birthplace, national ID number, mobile number, all crime/case details.”
The authenticity of the post has not been verified yet, but if it proves to be real it would represent a major embarrassment for Beijing. China has promised to improve protection of online data, passing a number of new laws requiring major tech companies to comply with updated regulations.
The possible hack was trending on Chinese social media platforms before censors removed the majority of discussion. Neither the Chinese government or Shanghai police have made any comment on the claims.
Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng also added fuel to the fire by announcing that the cryptocurrency exchange was stepping up security measures after the firm’s threat intelligence detected the sale of records belonging to 1 billion residents of an Asian country on the dark web. The announcement made no mention of ChinaDan’s claims directly, although it is difficult to see what other event it could refer to.