China claims data breaches were “fabricated”

Chinese authorities have cracked down on what they claim were “fabricated” data leaks reported last year.

In December, the personal information of 6 million members of the China Software Developer Network website were reported to have leaked online. That was followed by a number of reports of other data breaches, affecting gaming, e-commerce and social networking sites.

According to Chinese media, a subsequent police investigation found that while some of the data breaches were genuine, others had been fabricated.

The country’s National Internet Information Office claimed that people had fabricated the data breaches for reasons such as “showing off, defrauding others of money, promoting their web security products or disturbing and disparaging the real-name registration move” – a government initiative to forcing users micro-blogging websites to register their real names.

A 19 year old man is said to have fabricated a data leak in connection to the CSDN breach. The Xinua news agency reported that the man admitted he fabricated the breach to “show off”.

In other Chinese data protection news, the Beijing News today reported that Chinese bank accounts details are routinely leaked and sold, due to lax regulations.

The report quoted a bank employee as saying that its client database “was almost available to every employee. Even the receptionist could send me one of my clients’ information within two minutes on request.”

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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