Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/15/s_korea_info_theft/

6m South Koreans exposed in slam and spam scam

Identity theft on an epic scale

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 15th October 2004 10:12 GMT

South Korean police want to question 15 mobile phone workers and brokers over allegations they traded the personal information of an estimated six million people in the northeast Asian country. The group netted 360m South Korean Won ($314,0000) by allegedly selling the personal details of an estimated one in five of south Koreas 30m net users. Police are still investigating exactly how the group obtained the sensitive data but some details are already emerging.

The Chosun Ilbo reports that seven of the accused sold the data on 920,000 mobile phone store customers to a telemarketing company in July. This information - name, mobile phone number, email address and type of cell phone used - was used in attempts to get consumers to switch mobile operators or sign up to broadband services. One of the suspects made an alleged 130m Won ($114,000) through the ruse, with the telemarketing firm pocketing between $52 and $130 for every successful sale.

One suspect sold email addresses of consumers to porn spammers. The same broker allegedly sold data on five million mobile users to operators and shopping malls, the Chosun Ilbo reports. The paper reports that three suspects have already being arrested by police investigating the alleged crimes. Police have put one of the chief suspects - president of a marketing company - on their wanted list. ®

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