The CEOs of the hacked Korean credit card companies apologized and tendered their resignations. (Photo: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
Over the weekend, 20 million people in South Korea had their credit data compromised — that's about 40 per cent of the country's entire population.
While hacking has become a fact of life in the digital age, this story has been making international headlines because of its sheer scale — and also because it wasn't the result of any kind of organized group. Instead, an IT worker on contract at Korea Credit Bureau breached digital security at three of the country's largest credit card companies, all by himself. The worker has since been arrested, but not until after he stole 20 million social security numbers and credit card details.
The worker allegedly stole the data by copying it onto a USB stick, according to the BBC. He then sold the details to marketing firms. Managers at those firms were also arrested.
South Korea is a particularly credit card-happy country — they even make viral music videos about it — which makes the scale of the breach even more alarming. Still, Canadians should not feel immune. This news comes on the heels of a breach of security at Target, which might have affected as many as 70 million people late last year, including Canadians . Even the Starbucks iPhone app has been revealed to be especially vulnerable, according to a U.S. cybersecurity expert.