Personal data of 20 million bank and credit card users leakedUpdated: 2014-01-20 PM 4:27:37 (KST)
The government has warned that those found responsible for Korea's largest ever personal information leak will face extremely tough criminal penalties.
Prime Minister Chung Hong-won on Monday ordered the chief of the nation's regulatory body, the Financial Services Commission, to toughen penalties and inform the public about the exact damages and circumstances of the massive data leak.
Chung also asked for strong countermeasures to ensure such incidents don't happen again.
The information of some 20 million Korean bank and credit card users has been leaked, affecting almost all economically active people in the nation.
The data was stolen from KB Kookmin Card, Lotte Card and NH Nonghyup Card.
The Financial Supervisory Service says information taken includes the names, phone numbers, credit card numbers, addresses, and even banking records of millions of customers.
State prosecutors have moved to reassure the public that this incident has not resulted in the leakage of any information to criminal organizations. for now at least.
The Financial Supervisory Service says the credit card companies will cover any financial losses caused to their customers.
While the watchdog is pushing to strengthen related regulations by having financial firms tighten restrictions to access client information, it's warning customers to be alert to online and phone-based financial scams.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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