Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has won the election for Hong Kong Chief Executive this Sunday, but this is not the historical event everyone in the region is talking about. Hong Kong is dealing with one of its biggest data breaches to date, involving the theft of sensitive personal information of 3.7 million registered voters, according to the South China Morning Post.
The data security breach was detected on Monday and did not result from a cyberattack, as you’d expect, but from mere computer theft. Two laptops assigned to the Hong Kong Registration and Electoral Office were stolen from a locked room at the AsiaWorld-Expo on Lantau, a backup venue, right after the Chief Executive Election.
The compromised information allegedly includes full names, ID card numbers, addresses and mobile phone numbers. Officials have stated the data was encrypted and no relevant information has been “leaked,” yet encryption doesn’t make information leak impossible.
The Hong Kong Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data said an investigation will be conducted. Once the content of the stolen data is confirmed, the victims will be immediately notified.
“They [the electoral office] stressed that the data had been encrypted,” said a spokesman for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data. “The case involves a huge amount of personal data. The office is going to launch a probe.”