Chinese authorities grill Alibaba executives in data leak of 1 bn people

Rattled by the alleged data leak of nearly 1 billion residents, the Chinese authorities summoned executives and senior technicians from Alibaba Group, after the hacker claimed the data came from Alibaba server.

According to a report in Nikkei Asia, Alibaba executives were called by Shanghai police as the law enforcement agency suffered one of the biggest data breaches in history.

The hacker had claimed that the Shanghai police data covering 1 billion Chinese citizens came from an Alibaba private cloud server.

The leaked data from the Shanghai National Police (SHGA) database was put up for sale on Dark Web for 10 Bitcoins earlier this month.

The data included names, addresses, identification numbers and mobile phone numbers. The size of the alleged hack has triggered serious concerns in China, at a time when state authorities are allegedly collecting data from its citizens for social surveillance.

China Premier Li Keqiang last week stressed data security, calling on government bodies to “defend information security” after the incident.

According to South China Morning Post, the Premier said that Chinese government bodies must “defend information security to protect personal information, privacy and confidential corporate information”.

“China has 1.4 billion people. The seller claimed to include the data of 1 billion, and considering it was leaked from the police database, the quantity and quality of the data could be quite high,” said Zhao Xuan, a cybersecurity lawyer at Beijing Bairui Law Firm.

Those responsible for the leak and hacking could be charged under China’s criminal law.

“In 2022, the Shanghai National Police (SHGA) database was leaked. This database contains many TB of data and information on Billions of Chinese citizens,” said the post by the user named ‘ChinaDan’ that also went viral on social media platforms.

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