On its messaging and social networking site QQ.com, Chinese internet giant Tencent has acknowledged a large account hijacking attack. Tencent expressed regret for the event in a post on competitor social media site Sina Weibo, which may be thought of as a Chinese version of Twitter.
On Sunday night, the issue materialized, and an unspecified number of QQ users complained that their login credentials no longer gave them access to their accounts. That problem is what Tencent refers to as “stolen” accounts. According to Tencent, the issue began when scammers posted QR codes that offered game logins. Users were prompted to verify using their QQ credentials after scanning the codes.
This was a problem since the con artists running the scheme saw those logins. The statement “the login behavior was hijacked and recorded by the black industry gang, and then used by criminals to send bad picture ads,” which appears in a machine translation of Tencent’s explanation, does not sound like anything you would like to happen. Users’ accounts were also locked out.
According to the business, Tencent’s security staff sprang into action, and by early Monday morning, accounts had been restored. The internet juggernaut has promised to cooperate and is now compiling proof to provide to local authorities.
Given that China recently made it plain that it wants its digital titans to take their responsibilities to the nation seriously, those authorities are probably interested in Tencent and whoever generated the toxic QR codes. Tencent may soon receive a “rectification notice” if it is determined that it did not provide adequate security to stop this incident.
Such notices are often settled with some behind-the-scenes effort to correct the problem and then a public acknowledgment that the institution receiving the warning ought to have done better to begin with, and won’t be so careless again. In recent weeks, China has softened its criticism of its internet titans and hinted that their growth is fine as long as they contribute to society and advance communist principles.
However, Beijing disagrees that games are an effective way to convey these values. It has taken several actions to impede the growth of the regional gaming market and stop kids from playing video games for more than a few hours each week.