Two hackers and a telemarketing firm CEO get arrested for the theft of 12 million KT Corp. customers’ personal information.
Surnames of Kim and Chung had been hacking users’ personal information from KT since February 2013. KT is Korea’s second largest telecom service provider with about 16 million customers for their mobile, fixed-line telephone, and internet services. Out of the 16 million customers, 12 million of their customers’ personal information was hacked into. The hackers used a random number generating program and stole about 300,000 pieces of information daily. The stolen data included names, citizen registration numbers, mobile phone numbers, home addresses, occupations, and bank account numbers.
The alleged hackers sold the information to the telemarketing company chief identified by the surname of Park. Park used this information to market mobile telecom services that generated an estimate of 11.5 billion won ($10.8 million) in illegal profit. He also sold the personal information of about 5 million people to three mobile phone sellers. Park generated between 200,000 won to 400,000 won for each mobile phone contract sold through the scheme.
There are reports that these suspects also planned to steal information from two security companies. Ironically, this case opened up while Korea is still reeling from the massive data security breach at three local credit card companies.