Local police said Tuesday they were investigating a suspect for the leak of personal information from Hyundai Capital Services Inc., the country's major lending company and a financial unit of Hyundai Motor Group.
The 33-year-old man, whose name was withheld, was caught because he paid a usage fee for one of the Internet servers involved in the hacking of Hyundai Capital's server last month, the police said.
The man stated in the investigation that he paid 6,600 won (US$6) for access to a domestic server on behalf of an unidentified person he met through an Internet chat site, at his request, according to the cyber investigation unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.
Hyundai Capital said on Friday that the personal information of about 420,000 customers was leaked when unidentified hackers attacked its database. It also said that its internal probe found that key data required to make financial transactions such as passwords to loan services were stolen.
The police have been probing the case since Thursday when the company received a blackmail e-mail from the hackers that lead them to discover the data leak.
Investigators were trying to figure out whether the suspect received money in return for the payment and whether he participated in the hacking.
The hackers attacked the company's database directly from the Philippines via a server in Seoul and demanded money in return for not releasing stolen personal data, according to the police.
On Friday, the company sent 100 million won to one of the bank accounts written in the e-mail and then the hackers withdrew 42 million won of the sum, police said.
The authorities will seek cooperation from Interpol as the local police found that a small part of the 42 million won was withdrawn in the Philippines, they said.
Aside from the probe of the suspect, police said they were trying to identify a young man and a woman in her late 20s, whose withdrawals of money from the bank accounts involved were spotted by closed circuit cameras installed in banks in Seoul on