South Korean data breach results in 220m records stolen

16 people have been arrested for stealing personal details of half the population

Personal details, relating to half of South Korea's population, have been stolen by hackers, including full names, account names, passwords and resident registration numbers.

The hack was revealed after 16 people were arrested for stealing data from a number of online game and movie ticket sites. They are said to have set up targeted attacks on registration pages of the sites to siphon off the personal details.

In total, 220 million records were stolen and they are said to contain 'personally identifiable' information about 27 million people aged between 15 and 65.

One of the hackers, known only by the name of 'Kim', used an extractor that allowed him to log onto user accounts after they used the sign up page and buy virtual currency using their account. He then managed to sell this virtual currency for a profit of $390,000 (235,000).

Working with an accomplice, Kim also sold information to third parties, including, it's thought, mortgage fraudsters who paid him just 10 won (0.006) for each person's data and people issuing illegal gambling advertising who each paid him 17 pence.

South Korean authorities are still searching to find out how far the data has travelled and are on the lookout for five more people they think were involved in the security breach.

This isn't the biggest data breach seen by South Koreans, though. In 2011, 35 million people (70 per cent of the population) had their details stolen when a Cyworld, a South Korean social network and Nate, a search engine, was hacked.

Earlier this year, 20 million South Koreans had their registration numbers stolen when an employee of the Korea Credit Bureau stole details of residents.

Featured Resources

The ultimate guide to business connectivity in field services

A roadmap to increased workplace efficiency

Free download

The definitive guide to migrating to the cloud

Migrate apps to the public cloud with multi-cloud infrastructure solutions

Free download

Transform your network with advanced load balancing from VMware

How to modernise load balancing to enable digital transformation

Free download

How to secure workloads in hybrid clouds

Cloud workload protection

Free download

Recommended

Nigerian cyber criminals target Texas unemployment system
cyber security

Nigerian cyber criminals target Texas unemployment system

27 May 2021
Hackers use open source Microsoft dev platform to deliver trojans
Security

Hackers use open source Microsoft dev platform to deliver trojans

14 May 2021

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

17 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

17 Sep 2021