Theft of Data Fuels Worries in South Korea
By CHOE SANG-HUN JAN. 20, 2014
SEOUL, South Korea - A string of senior executives at three credit card companies in South Korea offered to resign on Monday after a huge theft of client data that may have affected 20 million people in this nation of 50 million.
The case became known this month when prosecutors arrested a39-year-old technician hired by the Korea Credit Bureau, a ratings firm that the credit card companies had hired to help improve their systems to protect client data. It was subsequently disclosed that the man stole personal information on 104 million credit cards issued by the KB Financial Group, the NongHyup Financial Group and Lotte Card.
The man, identified only his last name, Park, stole the data from May2012 to December 2013, copying it onto a USB device, prosecutors said. The data included the names, phone and South Korean social security numbers, email and residential addresses, salaries, monthly card use and other credit-rating information of clients, the Financial Supervisory Service, a regulatory agency, said in a statement. In many cases, card numbers were stolen as well.