The Chinese social network is trying to minimize the facts, but has announced that it has filed a complaint.
With the coronavirus epidemic causing record peaks in social media usage, the Chinese cannot enjoy the addictive pleasure of tweeting or liking. Indeed, Facebook and Twitter are both censored by the regime. To tell their lives or exchange information, they use Weibo, a social network founded in 2009.
If the platform folds without blinking the requirements of the Chinese government, it is not, like its Western counterparts, free from any scandal. The most recent concerns the privacy of 538 million users. March 23, the ZDNet site has spotted that their personal data was available on the darknet, for the modest sum of 1799 yuan (about 236 euros).
In detail, we find their username, their real name, their gender, their address and even, for 172 million of them, their phone number. Only passwords are missing, which explains the relatively modest price of this data. Their veracity has been confirmed by some users.
Encrypted passwordsIn response, Weibo told several Chinese media that the phone numbers were not obtained because of a flaw, but because the users themselves had massively synchronized their phone contacts on the social network. In a second press release posted on Weibo, the company assured that the passwords were encrypted and that they did not have thus “No reason to worry”.
At the same time, the social network announced that it had lodged a complaint, which led to the opening of a police investigation. In the summer of 2018, another hacker had sold the coordinates of millions of customers who have stayed at properties of the Huazhu hotel group. Chinese police arrested the hacker only three weeks later.