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Record Chinese Cyber Breach Spurs Eruption in Data for Sale

  • A record info leak has increased focus on illicit markets
  • Sellers are posting personal information and national IDs

Since the data of about roughly 1 billion Chinese citizens appeared for sale on a popular dark web forum in June, researchers have observed a surge in other kinds of personal records from China appearing on cybercriminal marketplaces.  

In the aftermath of that record leak, an estimated 290 million records about people in China surfaced on an underground bazaar known as Breach Forums in July, according to Group-IB, a cybersecurity firm based in Singapore. In August, one seller hawked personal information belonging to nearly 50 million users of Shanghai’s mandatory health code system, used to enforce quarantine and testing orders. The alleged hoard included names, phone numbers, IDs and their Covid status -- for the price of $4,000.