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November 14, 2013

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Single’s Day provided a gift to hackers

ALIPAY has refunded 30,000 yuan (US$4,919) to a customer whose account was hacked, and admitted that the Single’s Day shopping splurge may have caused a glitch in its system.

The customer, surnamed Zhou, who lives in Baoshan District, had linked his ICBC bank card to Alipay, China’s largest third-party payment service provider with 800 million registered users.

Late on Sunday evening, Zhou had a shock when he received text messages from the bank saying he had spent 30,000 yuan through a point of sale machine.

Four transfers were made within four minutes at 11:40pm, all through Zhou’s Alipay account.

An investigation found that Zhou’s Alipay user name and passwords had been stolen by a hacker.

Zhou’s phone number was linked to his account and the user should have been required to enter a safety code to access money there.

A code is sent to the phone, without which transactions should not take place.

However, Zhou said he received no text messages from Alipay before getting the bank’s notification.

Hui Yu from Alipay’s publicity department said the failure to send a text could be down to a glitch, as the site was dealing with huge numbers of transactions on the eve of Single’s Day.

Tips to keep safe

1) Set a complicated password. Avoid using a series of numbers featuring personal information.

2) Set different log in and payment passwords for Alipay.

3) Avoid using the same usernames and passwords for different logins.

4) If an email address is used as a username, do not set the same password for both the email account and Alipay account.

5) Use digital certificates and link cell phone numbers to the account.



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