The Korea Herald


Hacked data probe may spread to Hyundai Card

By 김연세

Published : April 12, 2011 - 18:51

    • Link copied

The recent hacking at Hyundai Capital raises the possibility that customer information at Hyundai Card could also have been stolen or be vulnerable to intrusion.

Hyundai Capital recently suffered a cyber attack in which personal information of about 420,000 customers and passwords of 13,000 have been hacked.

While the automobile loan-oriented firm has been under an intensive probe from the FSS, regulatory officials do not rule out the feasibility of similar cases happening at Hyundai Card, hinting at simultaneous scrutiny.

Hyundai Card downplayed the possibility, denying the rumors.

An FSS official said that ― as far as he is concerned ― the watchdog is considering widening the scope of inquiry to Hyundai Card.

He pointed out the fact that the two financial firms’ information technology systems have been managed by the same IT service provider ― Hyundai AutoEver.

He also alleged that a large portion of Hyundai Capital customers hold credit cards issued by Hyundai Card, adding, “Furthermore, services of the two companies have been connected in some parts.”

Amid the growing anxiety, several FSS staffers have even said they changed the passwords of Hyundai Card accounts right after the Hyundai Capital incident occurred.

“Irrespective of the FSS’ official stance on Hyundai Card, I privately changed my password over fear of the possible leaking of my information,” an FSS staffer said.

Hyundai Card is one of the nation’s top three credit card issuers and the number of its customers comes to about 9 million. The FSS estimates that one out of every three Korean adults hold the card.

Hyundai Card has the position that its database is separate from that of Hyundai Capital.

Company staffers clarified that any leakage of customer information has not been reported, dismissing the possibility of undergoing similar cyber attacks in the future.

But market observers, including online security solution providers, predict that the FSS would focus on the partly connected services between the two companies.

“Regulatory probe of Hyundai Card is a matter of time,” a local banker said. “Considering the seriousness, other credit card companies and loan issuers could face inquiry.”

While Hyundai Capital announced that the hacking went on for about two months without detection by its staff, FSS Governor Kwon Hyouk-se said Tuesday, “Their argument that they have not acquainted with the hacking for two months is illogical.”

The FSS is mulling stern punitive actions against the company if irregularities are uncovered in sectors such as guidance for security and hiring of information technology specialists.

By Kim Yon-se (