TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An investigation into the leak of 23 million items of personal data, including that of the relatives of Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) and Secretary-General of the National Security Council Wellington Koo (顧立雄), has concluded the hacker responsible was a Chinese national.
In October 2022, an individual using the alias “OKE” listed over 23 million personal data records for sale online that were reportedly Taiwan Household Registration Office records, though the office denied it was the source. The data included people’s ID codes, birthplaces, educational backgrounds, phone numbers, addresses, and names.
The Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau formed a task force to recover the stolen data, and found the crypto-currency wallet used by the seller was linked to a Chinese national and Chinese bank accounts. The bureau said the case will be referred to the Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office for further investigation.
The bureau also reminded the public to exercise caution with their personal data and reiterated that it is illegal to purchase or sell data that is not your own.
The breach was discovered by a good Samaritan, who handed the information to a local news outlet in October last year. The data was discovered listed for sale on an online hacking forum for US$5,000 (NT$152,582), according to LTN.