Chinese officials’ attempts to maintain privacy have been thwarted again with hackers leaking guest details of hotels. A number to the tune of 20 million has been reportedly made public through multiple websites and a popular messaging service, WeChat.
WooYun, is an online security watchdog which had observed in September that a loophole in CNWisdom, the largest provider of wireless internet for hotels, led the hackers have access to personal information of guests of the hotels. Personal details as to phone numbers, house addresses and also email addresses were retrieved by these hackers.
As a quick retort the service provider, CNWisdom at the outset had stated that many hotels which were not among its clients back then, also fell victim to such leak by another source. As of December, even though a website with leaked data was shut down, data has spread.
These hackers have been identifying themselves as the “harbors of evil goods.” It is considered to be wordplay on a particular saying originating from the archives of the Han dynasty. They have started using a WeChat account and are featuring on it now. They are providing a service through which a user can text them and ID card number and they will then run a trace or check with the data they have access to and the finally come up with the user details and hotel reservations made in favor of such persons. The operators of this account were approached through mail, but there was no response from them.
The websites which have the leaked information in content have easier search options. They can run checks and searches based on name inputs. These websites reveal detailed bookings of the persons along with their personal details which include phone numbers and birth dates. There are also peer to peer file sharing websites which have taken substantial interest in furnishing personal data of the unfortunate individuals.
Of many effects of this leak, one that has been reported in the Yangcheng Evening News is the cancellation of a wedding in Shanghai after the bride-to-be found about her fiancé’s hotel bookings amongst the leaked data. The newspaper contended that private information should be protected by the law more zealously.