Half of South Koreans Affected by Personal ID Theft

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Nearly half of all South Koreans could have had their credit card details stolen and sold to marketing firms in one of the largest such data thefts ever.

The personal information was apparently stolen  by a computer contractor working for the Korea Credit Bureau, which produces credit scores.

Some 20 million records were downloaded, including credit card details, names and social security numbers. It's understood that the contractor was able to access the credit card details via a secure link between the Credit Bureau and three major banks.

The scale of the theft was kept quiet initially, but became apparent after the contractor was arrested, along with managers at several marketing companies that bought the information.

The three banks involved have apologized publicly for the security breach. A task force has been set up to investigate the impact of the theft and regulators are investigating if the banks broke any rules in sharing the credit card data.

In a statement the Financial Services Commission, Korea's national financial regulator, said: "The credit card firms will cover any financial losses caused to their customers due to the latest accident."

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Tags: Korea 

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