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Suspected hacker in Hyundai Capital incident arrested in Philippines

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Published : 2011-10-17 17:20
Updated : 2011-10-17 17:20

SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) -- A suspected hacker wanted on suspicion of stealing customer data earlier this year from Hyundai Capital, an affiliate of South Korea's top automaker, has recently been arrested in the Philippines, police here said Monday.

The 35-year-old man, identified only by his surname Shin, allegedly broke into the computer system of the financial firm several times between February and April this year to steal personal information of nearly 420,000 customers.

Shin was hired by three South Korean men who masterminded the cyber attack and received some 35 million won (US$30,707), which was part of 100 million won the trio squeezed from the financial firm in exchange for not releasing the data, according to the police.

"Shin was caught by the Philippine police earlier this month, and has been in their custody," said an officer of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA) which is in charge of the case.

"The Philippine authorities are now checking whether he is involved in other crimes there."

Shin, known as a hacking expert, is expected to be either extradited to South Korea or deported for illegal stay from the Southeast Asian country where he has lived since 2007 after fleeing from several hacking crimes in South Korea, according to the investigator.

Among the three main culprits, the 40-year-old man surnamed Huh was sentenced to two years in prison earlier this month, while two others, believed to be staying overseas, are being sought by Interpol.

"We are in close cooperation with the Philippine authorities for his prompt extradition," the SMPA officer said. "We also strive to arrest those on the loose as soon as possible."