A Chinese company that owns more than 10 hotel chains said on Tuesday it is investigating an alleged leak of private information involving over 130 million clients.
A post by Darknet, a distributed anonymous network within the deep web, appeared on Tuesday selling the private information of 130 million people, who are alleged clients of the Huazhu Group's hotels. The information sells for 8 Bitcoin, equivalent to $54,400 or 520 Monero, The Beijing News reported on Tuesday.
"We cannot prove that the information for sale is authentic," Huazhu said in a statement on its Sina Weibo account on Tuesday.
The company said police are investigating the alleged information leak and has hired professionals to determine if the "relevant private information" came from the company.
The company declined an interview request from the Global Times.
The alleged leaked data involves more than 10 hotels, including Novotel, Mercure and Orange Hotel.
The 142-gigabyte data is separated into three parts, involving 263 million records and 130 million people, The Beijing News reported.
Intelligence experts at Zpower, a company committed to fight cybercrime, said that the data could have been hacked 20 days ago when Huazhu programmers uploaded the information to GitHub, a service that allows engineers to collaborate on developing software coding, The Beijing News report added.
Zpower experts claimed they have confirmed the data's authenticity.
Xin Haiguang, a senior IT commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday that authorities should take more steps to protect information security.
The lack of legislation and law enforcement has spawned the growth of the private information sales industry and prevented people from effectively safeguarding their legal rights, Xin noted. "As the public becomes increasing concerned about information security, the country's legislators should soon come up with enhanced legal protection," Xin said.