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An unidentified hacker claimed to have stolen data on a billion Chinese residents after hacking into a Shanghai police database in what industry experts are calling the biggest cybersecurity breach in the country's history.
An anonymous post by the hacker appeared on an online cybercrime forum. He put up for sale more than 23 terabytes of stolen data from the database, including names, addresses, places of birth, national identifiers, phone numbers and information on criminal cases. The value of this database is estimated at 10 bitcoins, worth about $191,000.
The security community in China was shocked by the extent of the alleged leak. Doubts have emerged about the credibility of the claim and how it could have happened.
Zhao Changpeng, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, tweeted on Monday that the company had discovered the leak of a billion resident records "from one Asian country", without specifying which one, and has since stepped up procedures to check potentially affected users.
Shanghai authorities have not publicly responded to the alleged hack. Representatives of the city's police and China's Cyberspace Administration, which controls the country's Internet, did not immediately respond to faxed requests for comment.
It is unclear how the alleged cyber attackers gained access to Shanghai police servers this month. A third-party cloud infrastructure partner may have been involved in the hack. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co. are among the country's largest external cloud services.
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