When we think about cryptographic keys, we tend to think about closely guarded secrets. Keys are the only thing that keeps the attacker away from your encrypted data. Some keys are usually treated with the appropriate level of respect. Security professionals in the payments industry, or those that have deployed a PKI, know all too well about the importance... 

Richard Moulds

20 Million Credit Cards Compromised In South Korea

20 Million Credit Cards Compromised In South Korea

According to BBC, 20 million South Korean credit card details have been stolen in one of the biggest security robberies the country has faced, affecting almost half of the population. A contractor for the Korea Credit Bureau managed to gain access and copy 20 million unencrypted names, social security numbers and credit card details onto a USB stick.

The contractor, who has since been identified and put in custody, managed to take the information due to lack of encryption and no blockade between the contractor and the sensitive information, according to the Financial Services Commission, the financial regulator for South Korea.

Once the information had been copied, the contractor sold it to various marketing firms for unknown amounts, managers of these firms have also been arrested. The Korea Credit Bureau did not know information had been stolen until an investigation was carried out into the claims.

It is unknown where the information has got to at this point – since it involves credit card details and names, the price of this information will have skyrocketed, although security teams are now working with the bank to make sure no money is lost.

Affected users are being told to change their password and other sensitive information, to make it harder for any hackers or fraudulent criminals to gain access to their bank account.

KB Kookmin Card, Lotte Card, and NH Nonghyup Card are the three credit card groups involved with the Korea Credit Bureau, a company that produces credit scores for the three major banks. All three managers have apologized and said their bank will cover any losses. This is not the first time South Korea has been hit by cyber crime trouble, in the past two years KT Mobile has had 8.7 million subscribers’ details leaked and social-network Cyworld had a 35 million user information breach.

This is just the latest outbreak in technology security – just last week Target was hit by a major hack, compromising users data and affecting millions of customers and showing the vulnerabilities of old systems and lack of encryption.

By Walter Bailey

(Image Source: ShutterStock)

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