Cn: CSDN “hack” was an insider leak, and many other reported “hacks” were fabricated leaks – authorities
China Daily reports:
Four people have been detained by police and eight others punished after they were found guilty of fabricating a massive leak of online personal data by hackers over the past month in China, the country’s Internet watchdog announced Tuesday.
China’s leading anti-virus software provider, Beijing-based Qihoo 360, claimed in late December that the personal information of more than 6 million users of the China Software Developer Network (CSDN), the country’s largest programmers’ website, had been leaked by hackers. That raised concerns about web security and triggered widespread panic.
The company said the leak included user IDs, passwords and e-mail addresses in clear text. The hacking case later escalated after the personal details of subscribers to more websites, including popular online shopping, gaming, social networking and even financial institution sites, were said to have been leaked.
However, a police investigation into the cases has found that most of those websites had not been attacked by hackers at all over the past month, or that they had been attacked without their subscribers’ information being leaked, a spokesman with the National Internet Information Office said Tuesday. The leaks were merely a fabrication.
Police have cracked 12 such cases, nine of which involved insiders working for the companies stealing and illegally selling online personal data, and three of which involved a fabricated information leak, he said.
Four people have been detained and eight others received formal admonishments in punishment according to the country’s public security regulations, he said.
In the CSDN case, a 19-year-old jobless man surnamed Xu was found to have faked a large-scale leak of personal data just to “show-off,” and he had received “admonishment” from the police, the spokesman said.
As for the leak of some users’ passwords on a few well-known social networking websites, such as Sina Weibo and www.kaixin001.com, police found that hackers decoded the passwords through guesswork and the personal data banks of the websites had not actually been attacked, he said.
Police have confirmed the identities of the hackers and are hunting them, he said.
Read more on China Daily.
It would be helpful if the authorities actually listed each site that had been reported to have been hacked and indicate specifically whether there was a hack or an insider leak or if it was all rumor without any real incident.
And no, I didn’t even know about kaixin001.com. I guess that’s one less entry in DataLossDB that I’ll have to edit now.
Of course, the suspicious among us may wonder whether authorities are merely trying to cover up that there have been huge hacks. It’s so hard to trust governments these days, isn’t it?
disclosure - January 11, 2012
Hmm, the CSDN leak was fabricated? We wrote a simple Python script with mechanize (http://wwwsearch.sourceforge.net/mechanize/) to audit the leaked accounts and many seem legitimate as they were reusable on many other sites, e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, Twitter.
The leaked accounts were archived at http://dazzlepod.com/csdn/.