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Nexon slammed over security measures

Nexon on Monday announced a plan to strengthen security measures against hacking, but faced a public backlash after a massive leak of personal information of millions of users.

On Thursday, the company found that its massively multiplayer online role playing game “Maple Story” had had its backup server hacked and the information of 13.2 million of the 18 million registered users had been stolen.

This is the third-largest case of its kind in the three months since the biggest-ever hacking case in August, when the portal site Nate and social networking service Cyworld, both operated by SK Communications, were hacked, affecting about 35 million users. 
Nexon Korea CEO Seo Min (right) and other executives bow in apology for the leak of customers’ data in a press conference at the Renaissance Seoul Hotel on Monday. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)
Nexon Korea CEO Seo Min (right) and other executives bow in apology for the leak of customers’ data in a press conference at the Renaissance Seoul Hotel on Monday. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)

Nexon, which held an urgent press conference at a Seoul hotel on Monday, said it will set up a global security system running 24 hours a day in Asia, North America and Europe and introduce a new membership system by April.

The nation’s top online game company based in Tokyo also launched a campaign on Monday to offer game items to all its registered members when they voluntarily change their current passwords.

“We have tried to strengthen security measures since the hacking accident of SK Communications and will continue to expand investment,” said Seo Min, CEO of Nexon Korea Corp.

“Considering the characteristics of online games and related regulations, it is still essential to collect some information,” Seo said when asked of plans to dispose of resident registration numbers collected like in the SK case.

“The whole online game industry needs to discuss together the issue of reducing the range of collected information.”

The company also made it clear that the hacking occurred only in the Maple Story server and did not affect other games, adding there has been no additional damage found.

With hacked users petitioning an online to file a class-action lawsuit against the company, Nexon said it would take responsibility for any damage found after the ongoing police investigation.

The Internet cafe at caf.naver.com/hacknexon, which opened on Sunday, has some 350 petitions signed as of Monday afternoon.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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