Huazhu's Possible Data Breach Escalates, Nearly 500 Million Client Info at Risk
Shanghai’s Changning District police has confirmed the possible leak by releasing a statement on their official Weibo account late on Tuesday.
According to Chinese state media Xinhua, the amount of the data leak is bigger than previously reported. Not 130 million clients' data, but nearly 500 million pieces of customer-related information from the hotel operator, Huazhu Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: HTHT), was stolen and offered in an online post for sale.
Xinhua reported on Wednesday that nearly 500 million pieces of information related to the hotel's customers was offered from an anonymous seller on a website called "Darknet" on Tuesday. Among the data were registration information, personal data, and booking records.
Shanghai's Changning District police have confirmed the possible leak by releasing a statement on their official Weibo account late on Tuesday, saying that they have been alerted to the possible data breach by the company.
"Those who commit illegal acts including theft, trading, and exchange of residents' personal data will be heavily punished," the Shanghai police said in a statement. "We are resolute in protecting people's interest and ensuring information security."
A post on a distributed anonymous network, Darknet, claimed to have access to private information of millions of clients who stayed at Huazhu hotels. The user who posted the information was selling the whole package of data for 8 bitcoins, an equivalent to $54,400.
Shares of Huazhu, however, remained unaffected by the possible data breach. The stock of the company rose 2 percent to close at $34.83 per American depositary share in New York, up 85 cents Wednesday.