Foreign media is paying much attention to the unprecedented scale of the recent credit card leak in Korea that has affected at least one-fifth of the nation’s population.
Some foreign media outlets expressed concerns of the financial firms’ weak security measures in handling customer information. The Financial Services Commission revealed the confidential data was easily accessed by staff, as an employee of the Korea Credit Bureau had copied the client database to his personal USB stick.
Credit card firms were unaware of the theft until being notified by the investigation into the incident. The leaks came a month after 12 individuals were indicted on charges of stealing information of more than 130,000 local bank customers.
Foreign media outlets quoted South Korean prosecutors, saying sensitive personal information including resident registration numbers, bank account numbers and credit ratings were leaked altogether from the country’s major credit card firms KB Kookmin Card Co., NH NongHyup Card Co. and Lotte Card Co.
The card companies in question are still in a flurry of reissuing cards and canceling accounts, with top executives involved resigning one after another. Financial authorities received reports suspected of smishing scams using the information stolen, warning others of secondary damages ensuing from the leak.
By Yoon Ha-youn and news reports (firstname.lastname@example.org)