January 25, 2010
Hackers cracked into the credit card processing networks of several
popular restaurant chains in Korea from December through early this
year, obtaining personal information from customers to make fake cards
and ring up millions of won in purchases.
Authorities said the resulting monetary damage could exceed similar
high-profile hacking incidents over the past two years, though they did
not provide data on the chains involved or the estimated number of
The cyber crime unit of the national policy agency and local financial
authorities said yesterday that the hackers manufactured fake credit
cards based on the stolen information, charging roughly 190 million won
($165,794) in purchases abroad.
A Financial Supervisory Service official said the hacker made a total of
460 transactions with the fake credit cards.
Authorities alerted the credit card providers about the latest
development, and the firms are now contacting affected customers and
reissuing cards with new numbers.
It's the latest incident in a string of hacking attacks on local credit
card payment networks over the past two years, deepening concern among
consumers and companies alike.
Similar hacking attacks on several local retail chains - whose names
were not revealed - in April 2008 forced some 20,000 Koreans to get new
Hackers used the information gleaned in the attacks to produce fake
cards, making 310 purchases worth 166 million won.
In August through September of last year, hackers obtained the credit
card information of about 2,360 people who swept their cards in local
restaurants and bar chains. In these cases, the hackers made purchases
worth 78 million won using fake cards.
Industry officials said that the smaller chain businesses are
particularly susceptible to these types of attacks, as they don't have
as advanced security systems in place as their larger peers.
"The [credit card payment] processing networks of large business chains
like big discount stores are relatively well protected in this regard,"
said one official at the Credit Finance Association of Korea. "But small
and midsized chains are far more vulnerable in terms of securities
In the face of intensifying hacking threats, the Financial Supervisory
Service, the Credit Finance Association and credit card companies last
month formed a joint task force team to come up with possible solutions
to prevent such attacks.
Did a friend send you this? From now on, be the
first to find out! Subscribe to InfoSec News