More than 100 Australians exposed to China’s massive data breach, including former federal MP

The personal details of more than 100 Australian citizens – including a former federal MP – are among those uncovered by a hacker in a massive leak of data stolen from Chinese police authorities.

Last week, a hacker claimed on an online forum that they had stolen 1 billion records, mostly from Chinese citizens, in an ongoing bid to sell the information for 10 bitcoins, or nearly $300,000.

The reports provide a rare insight into how authorities are cracking down on political dissidents and the persecution of minorities in China, including Uyghurs and Falun Gong practitioners.

That hacker placed three sample data sets online, good for 750,000 individual records.

The ABC called 20 individuals in China identified in the leak to confirm the authenticity of the police reports.

Cybersecurity experts and other media also verified some data from the 23 terabyte database.

However, the total size of the files and the data breach have not been confirmed by the tight-lipped Chinese authorities.

In a Shanghai police file with 250,000 records, the ABC found personal details of a former Australian federal member of parliament, who had called police to report a theft from the trunk of a car in 2004.

The ABC has contacted the person, but has not received a response.

Dozens of Australian citizens were also identifiable in that dataset, along with their passport details, home addresses, birthdays and police reports.

More than half of Australian records related to failure to register with local police within 24 hours of their arrival in China, a requirement of China’s Exit and Entry Act, which came into effect in 2013.

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