Feeds

Cops nab mobile net workmen for snarfing punters' data

Gang allegedly tracked and sold Koreans' info

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.