Digital Chosun Ilbo
July 10, 2008
The claims of an unidentified Chinese hacker have alarmed Korea's
Nate.com, a leading Korean portal run by SK Communications, is dismayed
by a message left on a Chinese website. Claiming to be a hacker, the
writer offered to sell the personal information of 12 million Nate.com
members for one million yuan (W100 million, US$1=W1,006). As if to prove
the claims, the writer revealed the information of five or six Koreans.
SK Communications was thrown into panic. If the claims are true, it
would be the largest leak ever of Koreans' personal information, even
topping the Auction.com leak in which data on 10.8 million members was
But the Chinese poster did not reveal any more information and deleted
the message, making it impossible to confirm whether the hacking was
real or a hoax.
An official with the Seoul Metropolitan Police cyber crime squad said it
will take time to get the facts as it is an overseas case.
But SK is worried. An official there said an internal probe has found no
trace of hacking, but to be safe Nate.com members will be required to
change their passwords every six months.
The new password policy took effect Tuesday. Only members who change
their online passwords can access Nate.com and Cyworld.com.
A portal employee said, "There's no particular measures against such
hit-and-run Chinese hackers. Actual hacking cases are rare, but taking a
lesson from the Auction incident, portals are always on high alert."
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