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Seller of Mobile Phones Gives Away Customer Information

Posted October. 07, 2004 23:13,   


Mr. Park (33 years old) from Incheon was surprised to find that his average mobile usage bill of 40,000 to 50,000 won had gone up to 150,000 won early last month.

On the bill, it stated that Park had settled his account with small amounts of money paid through the internet twice in August. However, Park never received a validation number needed to pay through the internet.

Thus, Park complained to his portable communication company and the internet shopping mall in question only to receive the answer: “ask the settlement agency.”

Victims with situations similar to Park officially complained to the shopping mall company, asking it to request an investigation by the police late last month.

The investigation showed that 800 people and 700 people suffered the same problem as Park from internet shopping malls and game sites, respectively.

Sellers of mobile phones stole customer information from portable communication companies to duplicate phones. They used these reproduced phones to pay through the internet.

The National Police Agency’s Cyber-terror Response Center arrested two mobile phone sellers, including a Mr. Cho, yesterday for stealing customer information and giving it to mobile phone duplicating dealers, which is a violation of the law on promotion of information communication system usage and information protection.

Mr. Oh, who reproduced mobile phones, is also wanted by the police for the same reason. The police are also interested in questioning phone agency employees for their carelessness in managing customer information.

After receiving a P company phone model information in August, Oh asked a friend to “provide me with customer information of the person who uses this phone,” while giving the information he received.

Cho paid a part time worker, Mr. Im, working at a K portable communication company shop in Iksan, 300,000 won to steal 446 customer names, residence numbers and mobile phone numbers. He then handed in this information to Oh.

At the same time, Mr. Kim, who is a shop owner of the same portable communications company in Incheon, provided Cho with 1,300 customer information files on Cho’s request.

The police said, “It seems as though they used residence numbers to pay online with duplicated phones,” and added, “They used the loophole of the fact that if duplicated and real phones have different base stations, a validation number only gets sent to the duplicated phones.”

Another commented, “Manufacturers of mobile phones and communication companies don’t care much for information. That is why it is hard to trace the outflow path of information.”