KT braces for class action
By Kim Yoo-chul
Over 34,000 people are willing to participate in a class action lawsuit against telecommunications giant KT over failure to protect their personal details, according to lawyers Tuesday.
Police recently arrested two people and are investigating seven others for hacking into KT’s network and stealing the information of about 8.7 million of the company’s 16 million wireless customers.
The compromised data includes names, mobile phone numbers, contract terms and resident registration codes, the Korean equivalent of social security numbers.
Police suspect that the information was leaked to telemarketers with the suspects pocketing at least 1 billion won (about $877,000) in exchange.
KT is the country’s second-largest wireless carrier behind SK Telecom and the leading provider of fixed-line telephony, broadband and portable Internet services.
``We are seeking damage compensation of 300,000 won and 500,000 won for each plaintiff,’’ said a representative of law firm Pyeonggang, which is preparing the lawsuit. KT declined to comment.
Korea has been dealing with a slew of data breaches in recent years. Firms previously hit by data theft include video game giant Nexon; online commerce giant Auction, the Korean unit of eBay; and social media provider SK Communications, the operator of Nate; and Cyworld.