By Kim Tae-gyu
To counter the problem of identity theft, the Korean government will
block the backdoor Internet pathway from abroad, which were used to
steal personal data by getting bypass links to the country's Internet
The Ministry of Information and Communication Tuesday revealed steps
aimed at controlling the nation's rampant personal data leakage to
overseas countries, especially China.
``Since last week, in collaboration with Internet service providers,
we already intercepted 2,600 illegal IPs, which were found to be the
main routes for penetrating the Korean network,'' Lee Sung-ok,
director general at the ministry, said.
Identity theft en masse surfaced last month after complaints piled up
that hackers stole private data, including resident registration
numbers, from Koreans in order to subscribe to ``Lineage,'' the
popular online game.
Chinese hackers are suspected of leading the cyber crimes via a bypass
link based on unlawful IPs, an alternative path other than the
legitimate, primary one.
``In the future, we will continue to keep tabs on such illegal IPs
geared toward breaking into the Korean network and stealing personal
information,'' Lee said.
Lee said the ministry will also urge local Internet firms to use an
alternative system other then resident registration numbers, the
Korean version of social security numbers, for signing up to Web
``Furthermore, we will recommend Web sites use cell phones as a
certification method to deter illegal subscribers. They can require
people to enter their mobile phone numbers together with resident
numbers when signing up,'' Lee noted.
``The site then will send certification figures via mobile handsets
and users will be have to enter the multi-digit number on the Web site
for user verification,'' he added.
The Chinese government will be asked to delete the personal data of
many Koreans in circulation in China's cyberspace, he said.
To prevent the recurrence of massive personal data leakage, the
ministry also unveiled a package of measures including propagation of
security patches as well as firewalls.
``Currently, the penetration rates of security patches stand at just
38 percent. We will increase the figure 80 percent and mandate gaming
companies to install Web firewalls,'' Lee said.
Toward that end, the country's main portal and game sites will have to
be equipped with programs that automatically install security patches
on subscribers' computers.
The ministry also looks to check the security of the country's 70,000
most-visited Web sites every day to shield them from onslaughts by
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