24-year-old-man buys personal details of 27 Million South Koreans from Chinese hacker
A total of 16 individuals have been arrested by authorities in South Korea on the suspicion of abusing the personal details of millions of people to earn large amounts of money.
According to a newspaper in Korea, JoongAng Daily, among the suspects is a 24-year-old man surnamed Kim. kim is said to have received 220 million pieces of personal information belonging to 27 million South Korean nationals aged between 15 and 65 from a Chinese hacker.The estimated total population of South Korea is about 50 million, so the figure reportedly represents 72% of people between the ages 15 and 65.
South Jeolla Provincial Police Agency reported that Kim used the information to steal gaming currency worth 400 million won (roughly $400,000) from the players of six online games. The information included names, account credentials and resident registration numbers (the South Korean equivalent of SSNs). Kim then gave approximately one thirds of the profit to the Chinese hacker.
Apparently he also sold the information to others, including illegal gambling advertisers and mortgage fraudsters who used it to make millions of dollars.
Apart from the 16 that have already been arrested and the Chinese hacker, police also have six other suspects in the case.
Head of malware intelligence at Malwarebytes Adam Kujawa, believes that such incidents can be avoided if online games use two-factor authentication to protect players’ accounts.
Kujawa told SecurityWeek that, “Online gaming is a huge industry and pastime in South Korea. The country treats its professional gamers like rock stars, on the same level as professional athletes. In turn, some of the best gamers in the world are from South Korea. So it