Four employees of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba were fired after allegedly trying to steal mooncakes from the company inventory by hacking the ordering system.
The workers, who were part of the company’s cyber security department, were discovered to be hacking into the ordering system on Tuesday, while trying to secure extra boxes of mooncakes for themselves.
Mashable reported that it was company tradition at Alibaba to give away a limited edition set of mooncakes to employees every year to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. This year, the company also made extra stock available internally for workers who intend to give similar sets to friends and family. Since it’s an internal purchase, Alibaba’s IT personnel were tapped to create a special ordering system for it.
Four people from the cyber security department, however, decided to tamper with the ordering system so they can take 124 boxes of mooncakes for themselves.
In one online forum. a user who claimed to be one of the “mooncake hackers,” revealed that he created a plug-in for the ordering system and it ended up successfully ordering 16 boxes, He said that Alibaba caught the manipulation and within a couple of hours the company immediately fired him.
Sharing and eating of round mooncakes among family members are hallmark traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival, signifying the unity of Chinese families. Symbolizing completeness and reunion, the mooncake has become an integral part of the week-long celebration.