Korean federal police are asking the Financial Supervisory Service of Korea to ensure card issuers heighten credit card security, an official from the regulator confirms to PaymentsSource.
Police issued the advisory after informing the agency that a single information trafficker had managed to steal the personal data of some 95,266 Korean credit card users, according to local newspaper JoongAng Daily. Police attributed the theft to a Romanian citizen who in August used the Internet to install spyware to steal the information from the point-of-sale systems at 36 large discount stores, restaurants and gas stations in Korea.
The thief sold the card data to traffickers, who used the information to produce 943 credit counterfeit cards to charge 677 million won (US$610,000 or 450,000 euros) in 49 countries.
“These losses will be borne by the issuers, as per Korean law,” an official from the Credit Finance Association of Korea tells PaymentsSource. “They, in turn, may seek reimbursement from the companies behind the POS systems.”
This is one of the biggest cases of POS hacking in Korea since the first one was reported in 2007, according to local media.