Monday, February 18, 2008

Chinese Hacker(s?) steal data on 18 million people in South Korea

Data breaches aren't just a problem in North America and Western Europe. In fact, it's probably safe to say that that the problem has become International in nature.

In the era of the global economy and with outsourcing, saavy hackers can probably get their hands on North American and European information outside those geographical areas fairly easily. IT is (also) probably less likely that anyone will be forced to be transparent about a data compromise in many of the areas information is currently being outsourced to.

That isn't to say that everything is 100 percent transparent when a data compromise occurs in the West, either.

Found this interesting blog post on The Dark Visitor (Inside the World of Chinese Hackers):

According to, South Korea’s oldest and largest online shopping site ( has claimed it was attacked by a Chinese hacker who made off with the user information on 18 million members and a large amount of financial data. It is further claimed that delayed 20 hours after the attack before confirming the loss of information. Korean users rebuked the website for being too slow to act. It was confirmed that the attack was launched through China’s internet.

The post speculates (probably very accurately) that the site was compromised by phishing the staff at (interesting name), who more than likely gave up their log on credentials to the hacker. This is normally accomplished by dropping malicious software containing a keylogger that steals all sorts of personal information from a compromised system. The same thing often occurs with social engineering techniques, where someone is tricked into giving up information they shouldn't have.

It is amazing how many employees fall for phishing attempts. I recently pointed to examples of this in North America, where the IRS and the employees of a Nuclear facility were successfully phished.

There is no doubt that part of any internal due diligence process should include training employees on social engineering, spam and phishing.

Full post from the Dark Visitor (interesting site), here.

Here are two posts, I recently did about employees getting phished for information:

Human beings are the reason for most security breaches!

IRS audit reveals that the human factor is one the greatest threats to information (computer) security

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