South Korea's No. 2 mobile carrier KT Corp. was ordered by a local district court Friday to pay 100,000 won (US$97) in compensation to each customer who had personal data leaked in 2012.
The Seoul Central District Court's ruling came after some 28,000 KT users filed a lawsuit against the mobile carrier for the leak of sensitive personal information, demanding compensation of 500,000 won per person.
Police earlier discovered that the personal information of 8.7 million users, including social security numbers, was leaked by two hackers in July 2012, while KT was not aware of the case for around five months.
KT said it will immediately appeal the case, calling the incident "inevitable," and saying it will prove the company had implemented sufficient precautionary measures.
"KT will continue to expand investment in security infrastructure and specialists, amid hackers' evolving techniques," the company added.
The Korea Communications Commission, the country's telecom watchdog, had also slapped KT with a fine of 85 million won in June, after hackers stole some 11.7 million pieces of personal information from 9.81 million KT subscribers through the company's website between August 2013 and February this year.
The commission said the methods used by the hackers were widely known, and given that KT had suffered a similar breach in 2012, the incident would have been preventable if the mobile carrier had carried out proper procedures. (Yonhap)