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PCPD looks into data breach involving HK Golden Forum members

PCPD looks into data breach involving HK Golden Forum members

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The Hong Kong privacy watchdog has commenced a compliance check into a data breach involving Hong Kong Golden Forum members.

According to the press statement released on 30 December 2022, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) said it received a notification from the Hong Kong Golden Forum on 29 December 2022, informing it that the personal data of a considerable number of members of the forum had been put on dark web for sale.

Having considered the significant number of data subjects involved, the PCPD has immediately commenced a compliance check into the incident, including ascertaining the details of the incident and the personal data involved.

A check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE saw a staff from Hong Kong Golden Forum announcing on 29 December 2022 that he had checked the relevant outflow data and believed the relevant data were leaked on or before 15 April 2015, containing partially incorrect information. However since the data breach occurred in 2015, it was difficult to trace the cause. He said that one of the possible reasons was a former Golden IT staff being fired due to conduct issues, such as stealing colleagues’ properties, defaulting on loans that caused the company to be harassed by several lending companies in different form. 
The staff added that the fired IT staff and several colleagues were mainly responsible for the IT department of Hong Kong Golden Forum at that time. Meanwhile, the forum did not use any IT technology or development process to inspect the behaviour of IT staff. Therefore, they suspected this was the main reason behind the data breach.

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PCPD advised affected citizens to protect personal data privacy by changing the passwords of the relevant accounts; beware of any unusual logins of any registered accounts and personal emails; stay vigilant when they receive any suspicious calls, text messages or emails from unknown sources, do not open the attachment or disclose their personal data arbitrarily; and be vigilant against phishing emails or other possible scams.

Furthermore, PCPD appeals to citizens who have registered as members of the relevant forum to be vigilant about potential theft of their personal data. Citizens who are in doubt about whether their personal data have been leaked may make enquiries with the platform concerned or the PCPD.

Related articles:

PCPD arrests man for disclosing personal data on social platform
PCPD makes arrest for a suspected doxxing offence
PCPD Study: Social media users should be wary of privacy policies and settings
HK's Reddit-like forum Lihkg temporarily removed from App Store


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