Thursday, 12 May 2016

Tweeting Sensitive Chinese Info

Some tweets revealed personal information of Chinese officials and tycoons
An interesting story has come out today, saying that a Twitter account has released the personal information of many Chinese Communist Party officials and tycoons.

With the handle "shenfenzheng", meaning "personal ID", the account exposed everything from the ID card numbers to residential addresses of prominent people in government, business, banking and technology.

They included people such as Alibaba chairman Jack Ma Yun to China's richest man Wang Jianlin of Wanda, and Tencent co-founder Ma Huateng, as well as Chinese officials, one of whom is the governor of a major province. At least two of the ID numbers were verified.

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma may have had his data exposed
The tweets were meant to demonstrate how easy it is to get access to this information through black-market channels and that such sensitive information was not properly safeguarded.

"It's easy to figure out anybody's information, whether you're a government official or a celebrity," shenfengzhen tweeted. "Getting the common people's data is like buying cabbage."


This is a good wake up call for China's public security officials to put more effort into internet security and develop better policies on how personal information is stored and treated.

Needless to say, after the information was released, the account was suspended yesterday afternoon and the tweets deleted.

China's richest man Wang Jianlin was also named in tweets
Whoever is behind shenfengzheng could also be in big trouble -- anyone leaking such information could be fined and spend up to three years in jail if convicted of the offense.

It will be interesting to find out who was behind this and how they managed to dredge up so much data.

"Are you surprised at all this information? I hope this encourages the nation's scrutiny, and shows how worthless individual data is in China," shenfengzhen tweeted.

Stay tuned.

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