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Taiwan: data from 3 million China Airlines accounts leaked

A cybercriminal released data belonging to prominent Taiwanese figures, including politicians and executives from TMSC, Foxconn or MediaTek

Cybercrime - February 14, 2023

In Taiwan, a hacker recently posted excerpts from a database he allegedly stole from China Airlines, the national airline. The cybercriminal claims to have sensitive information from 3 million people.

In the published extracts, there are sensitive data of several leading figures in Taiwan. These include major political leaders:

  • Vice President Lai Ching-te;
  • the Minister of Transport and Communications Wang Kwo-Tsai;
  • Foreign Minister Joseph Wu;
  • Taiwan’s deputy representative to the United States, Hsiao Bi-Khim.

Tech personalities are also involved, including:

  • The founder and former CEO of semiconductor giant TSMC (Morris Chang), and its current chairman (Mark Liu);
  • The founder of component manufacturer Foxconn (Terry Gou), and his current vice president (Lai Qingde);
  • The president of the foundry company MediaTek (Ming-Kai Tsai).

The hacker also accuses the company of trying to cover up the case. “China Airlines announced that there was no data breach, and asked all media not to publish any articles,” he attacks.

He also encourages hacked customers to sue China Airlines before their regulatory authorities. Since European citizens are on the database, he promises the worst for the company. “With the GDPR, they will be fined millions of US dollars,” he threatens.

The cybercriminal is probably trying to put pressure on the airline. He hopes to convince them to pay him to avoid the publication of the entire database.

For its part, China Airlines has confirmed that it was the victim of an intrusion. But the company says it has compared the data posted online with its own database, and found differences. China Airlines believes that the data may not have come from them.

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