Feeds

Cops nab mobile net workmen for snarfing punters' data

Gang allegedly tracked and sold Koreans' info

The essential guide to IT transformation

Police in South Korea have arrested five men working as sub-contractors for the country’s two biggest mobile companies. The men were nabbed on suspicion of snarfing personal information and location data from potentially hundreds of thousands of mobile users and selling it on to private detectives.

The Korea Herald reported that the men had been subcontracted to manage online friend tracking services for SK Telecom and KT, which between them have close to 90 per cent of the mobile market in the country.

However, the men allegedly developed software designed to harvest personal user information and location data without the knowledge of the user and then sold it on for up to 300,000 won (£168) per set of information.

As well as the two alleged data thieves, police reportedly arrested a private detective agency owner and a man who acted as broker – buying data from the hackers and selling it on to the agencies for up to 500,000 won (£280).

The detective agencies then sold the data on again to individual clients, the report alleged.

The illegal software was used in close to 200,000 cases, according to the police.

“The program had been used for commercial reasons for three months since August last year. But it is assumed that not all the tracking cases were tracked in violation of the law,” a police official is quoted as saying.

"We plan to further expand related investigations because we have found that as many as 1,000 clients requested information tracking and the destinations of the leaked information have not been disclosed.”

The incident calls to mind a well-publicised case from 2009 when T-Mobile was forced to admit that staff had been making significant sums on the side by selling on customer data to competitors.

In the case of KT and SK Telecom, both of whom reportedly knew nothing of the illegal activity going on until the arrests, it highlights the need for companies to practice good data security and carry out strict vetting checks on any subcontractors. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.