The personal data of some of the users of Chunghwa Post’s online shopping Web site have been leaked following a hack into the system on Wednesday last week, the company confirmed yesterday.
Spokeswoman Wang Shu-ming (王淑敏) said that the hacker broke into the dataset containing the orders that have been made by its Post Mall subscribers since October last year, adding that the orders contain the names of persons placing the orders, as well their telephone numbers, addresses, e-mails, and the items and quantities they purchased.
However, the data did not contain users’ bank account numbers, credit card numbers, personal ID numbers and birthdays, Wang said.
About 17,000 orders have been stolen, she said.
The hacker broke into the system at about 10pm on Wednesday when the site’s vendors were updating their product information, she said.
The company then received a telephone call on Thursday last week from a buyer who said that he was duped into paying more than NT$20,000 (US$611) for Yu He Pao lychees that he purchased from Post Mall, Wang said.
“The victim said that he only ordered one box and later received a telephone call from someone claiming to be a Post Mall administrator, who said the victim had ordered 12 boxes. The victim was told that he needed to change the quantity at the ATM and ended up paying NT$23,894 for the transaction,” Wang said, adding that a box of Yu He Pao lychees costs NT$495.
The hacker appeared to specifically target orders for Yu He Pao lychees because the fruit is in season, she said.
Apart from that victim, Wang said the company had received between 70 and 80 telephone calls from Post Mall subscribers reporting fraud.
She said that she had received a telephone call from the fraudster herself because she had purchased lychees from Post Mall.
The person who spoke to her on the telephone seemed to have a Chinese accent, she said, adding that the company’s technical specialists also identified the hacker’s IP address as being in China.
In addition to reporting the telephone scam to the police, Wang said the company has changed the settings of the network and enhanced its firewall to better protect the personal data of its subscribers.
The company will compensate the man who called on Thursday for his loss, she said.
The incident was the first time Post Mall’s data security was compromised. Established in October last year, Post Mall has 2,000 vendors and sells more than 26,000 items, with annual revenue exceeding NT$300 million.
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