The Korea Herald


SK Comm. under fire for poor security


Published : Aug. 11, 2011 - 19:29

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Company to unveil additional plan to counteract recent security breach

SK Communications said Thursday it is getting ready to release its second set of countermeasures as early as this week, following the country’s worst security breach.

On Thursday, police confirmed that a hacker used an Internet Protocol address from China to obtain the personal information of 35 million people registered to SK Communications’ services. Police also reported that 62 computers connected to SK Communications’ internal networks were infected with malicious codes, enabling the hacker to log onto the company’s database server to get the personal information, which included names, birthdates, address and contact information.
The name and logo of SK Communications at its headquarters in downtown Seoul. (Chung Hee-cho/The Korea Herald) The name and logo of SK Communications at its headquarters in downtown Seoul. (Chung Hee-cho/The Korea Herald)

“We will put our utmost efforts into fully cooperating with the police in the investigation to catch the hacker,” said an SK Communications official.

“We’re trying to devise measures which could curb the anxiety level of our online users and we plan to present the timeline and methods of implementation of the counteraction plan we have previously announced by this week at the earliest.”

However, industry sources say it is most likely that SK Communications will receive additional harsh criticism for its failure to prevent the security breach as well as its inability to manage the firm’s internal networks and security.

“The police report proves that SK Communications hasn’t been successful in security management,” said an official at a local security firm.

Late last month, it was discovered that personal information, which was listed in the personal information section of the online communities Cyworld and Nate, belonging to 35 million online users had been hacked.

Nate is the nation’s third-most visited Web search engine and Cyworld is the largest social networking site with a membership that accounts for half of the South Korean population.

By Cho Ji-hyun (