Shanghai police have captured a hacker suspected of having sold almost 500 million pieces of private data robbed from Chinese hotel chain Huazhu Hotels Group, which includes Hanting, CitiGo, Crystal Orange, and Ibis, among other associate hotels.
The suspect offered to sell the trove of information for 8 bitcoins (~$56,000 on the dark web at that time). The data included details of the customers' names, bank accounts, credit card details, mobile numbers, user ID and login pin, and home addresses. The data totaled 141.5GB in file size.
Last August 28, a screenshot of the hacker's illegal sale of the private data was posted on Chinese website Weibo. The Shanghai-based social networking firm said it then reported the incident to the law enforcement officials. The hacker has also attempted to blackmail the site's administration, although it was unsuccessful.
Fortunately for the customers potentially affected by the data breach, the hacker failed to make money from the large volume of information. Huazhu Hotels Group operates 5,162 hotels across 1,119 cities in China.