Ah, the curse of e-commerce in China. You can buy products within clicks but you often put your personal data at risk, especially if security measures aren’t up to standard. Or, in some cases, if some sinister black sheep at the company are trading user data for their own benefit.
Under wraps until today, our friends at TechWeb have discovered that the Amazon China user data was compromised last week. A certain Mr. Yang, a user of Amazon China, realized that his account was compromised last Friday, when a hacker successfully purchased a mobile phone using his credentials. Yang reported the case immediately to Amazon, but there was no concrete explanation as to how it happened. According to Yang, the customer service officer who served him in this case revealed that he isn’t the first victim. In fact, Yang was the officer’s fifth case this week.
So what happened? No one knows for sure but commentary from popular Chinese microblog Sina Weibo (see screenshot below) suggests that these hacking incidents could be the doings of syndicates, or folks who go around selling Amazon user accounts.
According to eTao, Alibaba’s price comparison site, Amazon China generally offers the best price among other e-commerce sites in China. However, after the incident, Amazon China users are beginning to fear that their security is in jeopardy. Amazon China acknowledged the problem and will be helping users to get back their accounts and will compensate if any users incurred any losses.
My colleague Charlie recently wrote more on why your data isn’t safe in China. And readers will recall we wrote about numerous hacks and leaks of user information in China in the past, including from other major e-commerce companies in the country.