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China – Unsecured database exposes 33 million jobseeker profiles

15 March 2019

A large database containing the personal information of 33 million Chinese users with profiles on recruitment websites like 51Job, lagou and Zhilian, has been exposed, reports TechNode.

The exposed information included user home addresses, phone numbers and marriage statuses. According to Bleeping Computer, job history, education history, and salary history were also exposed. The unencrypted databased was discovered by Sanyam Jain, a security researcher. While the owner of the database is unknown, Jain stated that he thinks “a third-party is aggregating the information from these companies and using them in some way.” After reporting his discovery to CNCERT, the China Cyber emergency response team, the database was secured.

In June 2018, it was reported that Pomerantz LLP, an American law firm that specialises in class action lawsuits, had started an action against 51Job. The action stems from a reported recent data leak that claimed more than 1.9 million user accounts were hacked at 51Job.com. The company admitted the data breech but did not elaborate on the source of the stolen data other than hinting that the incident was associated with a massive data breach of NetEase’s email service in 2015.

51Job’s shares are traded on the the US Nasdaq exchange and it was reported last year that the company’s CEO, Rick Yan, had amassed a fortune of USD 1.5 billion.

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