Twenty million credit card details stolen in S. Korea

Worker arrested over theft which hit one half of all South Koreans

Tags: Cyber crimeSouth Korea
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Twenty million credit card details stolen in S. Korea (L to R) Son Kyung-Ik, head of NH Nonghyup Card, Lotte Card CEO Park Sang-Hoon and KB Kookmin Card CEO Shim Jae-Oh bow to make a joint public apology during a press conference in Seoul. (Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  January 23, 2014

Authorities in South Korea have arrested an IT worker over the theft of 20 million credit card details.

The theft, which came to light this week, affects one half of all South Koreans, including the country's President and Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations.

The unnamed worker was employed by the Korea Credit Bureau, which gave him or her access to credit card details. It is believed that the thief simply copied the data to a USB stick and then sold it to a marketing company.

The data, which included names, credit card numbers and social security numbers, was not encrypted.

The stolen data did not include PIN codes or CVC numbers, so financial theft is unlikely, but regulators say that the credit card companies will be liable for any losses.

The bosses of the three card companies that were affected, KB Kookmin Card, Lotte Card and NH Nonghyup Card, have publically apologised and offered to resign.

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