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Hacker Who Stole Records of 1B Chinese Citizens Demands 10 Bitcoins

An anonymous hacker named ChinaDan recently offered to sell the personal data of 1 billion Chinese residents for 10 Bitcoins. While there are uncertainties to this claim, Changpeng Zhao and others ask users to beware.

Attack on Shanghai Police Database

The hacker allegedly came by the information through a cybersecurity attack that took place earlier this year. According to Reuters, the breach leaked resident details contained in a database in possession of the Shanghai National Police (SHGA). Security experts have tagged the attack the largest in the nation’s history, which isn’t a stretch considering the number of victims. 

Notably, the data in question includes names, phone numbers, addresses, birthplaces, identification numbers, criminal status, and other relevant info. Altogether the stolen information totals 23 terabytes.

Following the break-in, the unidentified hacker has put up an offer on Breached.to, a hacking platform for blackhat hackers. These are hackers who break into computer networks with malicious intent or for personal profit.

ChinaDan has demanded 10 BTC, roughly 200,000 USD given Bitcoin’s current price of $19,577 according to Coingecko charts. 

No Response from Officials

The scope of the breach has triggered something of an uproar within the Chinese security sector. Questions have risen regarding the validity of the demand and the preceding attack. Moreover, the lack of public confirmation or a response from Shanghai officials has pushed the existing doubts.

Additionally, China’s internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China declined faxed requests for input. However, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao made a Twitter post regarding the hack, albeit not outrightly. CZ stated that the trading platform threat intelligence had spotted 1 billion resident records for sale on the dark web. 


How the Breach Could Affect Crypto Users

CZ noted that the records were from “one Asian country” and probably due to a glitch in an elastic search deployment by a government body. According to Kenny Li, co-founder of Manta Network, a web3-based privacy protocol, the breach could translate into the crypto space.  The hackers could leverage user data and pull-off phishing scams to steal keys and gain illicit access to accounts on CEXes.

 In addition, CZ suggests the leaked data will affect hacker detection/prevention measures, phone numbers used for account takeovers, and other aspects. Indeed, Binance has already heightened the verification process for likely victims and encourages other platforms to do the same. 

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In the past, the US and other nations have highlighted China as a hotspot for cybercriminals. Following instructions from domestic entities, these individuals reportedly invade networks seeking relevant info or IP.

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