July 6, 2022

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Chinese internet company Sohu’s employees duped by email scam that promised ‘allowances’ to people who supply their banking info

3 min read

Chinese online portal operator Sohu.com said on Wednesday that two dozen workers misplaced additional than 40,000 yuan (US$6,000) following they fell sufferer to an electronic mail fraud, which promised “allowances” to recipients who supply their financial institution accounts and other personal identification data.

The 24 staff members believed the e mail was reliable mainly because it was sent from an undisclosed Sohu employee’s account, which was afterwards found to have been hacked and applied to send mail purportedly from the firm’s corporate finance division, in accordance to a assertion posted by Sohu on microblogging platform Weibo.

The electronic mail despatched on Could 18 experienced the issue “Detect on the wage allowance for May well”, according to a report on Wednesday by The Beijing News, a Chinese Communist Get together-owned newspaper. Some of the duped staff members missing their financial savings just after furnishing their banking information, the report mentioned.

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That Sohu e mail account was compromised soon after an employee’s password was leaked in an accidental phishing incident, according to Beijing-primarily based Sohu. It stated the circumstance has been claimed to the law enforcement for further investigation.

Sohu.com founder Charles Zhang Chaoyang attends an online meeting in Beijing on August 28, 2014. Photograph: Shutterstock alt=Sohu.com founder Charles Zhang Chaoyang attends an net conference in Beijing on August 28, 2014. Photo: Shutterstock>

Sohu founder, chairman and chief government Charles Zhang Chaoyang reported in a submit on Weibo that the incident “isn’t as intense as persons suppose”. He indicated that steps taken by the company’s know-how department retained the complete fiscal decline to underneath 50,000 yuan.

In addition, he claimed the incident did not affect the e-mail companies of all Sohu consumers.

Although on-line frauds are not unheard of in China, cybersecurity breaches in major hello-tech firms have turn into rare. As these types of, Sohu’s name has taken a strike on Chinese social media.

The e-mail scam at Sohu on Wednesday was trending on top of the research list of Weibo, which is affiliated with Sohu’s competitor Sina.com.

A person Weibo user posted a comment that it was a disgrace for Sohu, after known as just one of China’s main web portals, to grow to be prey for scams and phishing functions. Other Weibo buyers claimed the described financial decline mirrored how destitute Sohu employees have become.

Sohu, a person of the to start with Chinese tech companies to list on Nasdaq in 2000, past month mentioned it is seeking to exit the US trade, signalling that the enterprise is not self-assured about assembly demanding auditing requirements.

The firm’s announcement arrived right after the US Securities and Exchange Commission extra 12 far more Chinese companies, such as Sohu, to a record of stocks that facial area a opportunity delisting for failing to comply with US auditing oversight regulation. In China’s very competitive net current market, Sohu has missing relevance more than the many years and has observed its current market benefit shrink to US$525 million.

The recent incident at Sohu, in the meantime, showed that there stays a good deal of work to do for the federal government to crack down on cyber ripoffs. In March 2021, Beijing introduced an anti-fraud cell application to alert users of any phone calls, textual content messages or mounted apps that are suspected of staying affiliated with fraudulent things to do.

Chinese police previous yr cracked additional than 441,000 cases relevant to telecommunications and cyber fraud, arrested extra than 690,000 people today and returned 12 billion yuan of defrauded revenue, in accordance to point out-run Authorized Each day.

This report initially appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for additional than a century. For extra SCMP stories, make sure you discover the SCMP app or visit the SCMP’s Fb and Twitter internet pages. Copyright © 2022 South China Morning Write-up Publishers Ltd. All legal rights reserved.

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