Hackers are selling stolen data for 130 million guests of a Chinese hotel chain for 8 bitcoins on the Dark Web.
Going digital has a lot of perks. The amount of paperwork one deals with lessens, and a ton of information can easily be summoned and transmitted. However, the double-edged blade of technology is that such information can also be easily stolen and sold to disreputable people all over the world. The Dark Web is home to many places of business that traffic in stolen information, and a massive new haul has hit the market: the data of 130 million guests of a hotel chain in China.
Data for Sale on the Dark Web
The stolen data is from the Huazhu Hotels Group. This company operates over 3,800 hotels in China. Being such a large chain, they’ve collected a ton of personal data on their guests.
The security breach is believed to have occurred when the company accidentally uploaded the data to GitHub. It must have been some upload as the data is about 141.5 GB in size, containing over 240 million records for 130 million guests.
Now a hacker has the data and is selling it on the Dark Web. His asking price? A paltry 8 bitcoins, which is currently $55,429. That’s a pretty cheap price when you look at the sheer number of individuals who have their information compromised. The stolen data includes items like email addresses, hotel booking details, bank account information, and phone numbers.
The Underbelly of the Internet
While the internet is tremendous, there is a dark side. There are plenty of illegal goods and services up for sale on the Dark Web. Case in point is a woman attempting to hire a hitman to kill her lover’s wife for $10,000. She is still awaiting trial and faces an attempted first-degree murder charge.
A vendor on the Dark Web is selling malware for Bitcoin ATMs. The asking price for the malware, equipment (cards), and customer support is $25,000. The vendor is also looking to work with a group of scammers to loot Bitcoin ATMs using the malware.
While those buying and selling within the bowels of cyberspace traffic in anonymity, they are not immune to being caught by law enforcement. A recent undercover operation in the United States targeting narcotics resulted in the arrest of 35 vendors. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said:
Criminals who think that they are safe on the Darknet are wrong. We can expose their networks, and we are determined to bring them to justice. Today, we arrested more than 35 alleged Darknet vendors. We seized their weapons, their drugs, and $23.6 million of their ill-gotten gains. This nationwide enforcement effort will reduce the supply of deadly drugs like fentanyl that are killing an unprecedented number of Americans.
The important thing to remember is to keep as much as your personal data hidden and secure. It’s far too easy for criminals to get their hands on important data, such as social security numbers, bank account information, tax records, and so on. A little prevention can go a long way, unless you enjoy having your personal data bought and sold by cybercriminals.
Have you had your personal information stolen by hackers? Let us know in the comments below.
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