After leak of data, FSS scolds Hanwha DamageIt was confirmed yesterday that the Financial Supervisory Service issued a warning last week to Hanwha Damage Insurance for leaking customer information and reporting the incident late to the financial regulator.
In May 2011, a customer of Hanwha Damage Insurance complained to the company that information about an accident involving his car record being exposed online, making it traceable by Internet users.
Following that complaint, the company did an internal inspection and found out that an outsider had penetrated its internal server and gained access to customer information without permission.
The company, however, did not report the case immediately to the FSS.
According to sources in the industry, it was only in September 2012 that the police investigated and reported that information about 157,901 Hanwha customers, including their names, identification numbers and license plate number, was leaked from March to May of 2011.
Following that report, the financial regulator inspected Hanwha Damage’s computer system and conclsded that it managed its security poorly.
On Thursday, the FSS gave a warning to the company and a separate warning to an executive in charge of the incident. It also took disciplinary measure against three employees recommending their annual salaries be reduced.
“It was the first time that such a large amount of customer information was leaked by an insurance company,” said an official from the FSS.
The company said yesterday, “We did not report the case immediately to the FSS thinking the matter was simply a customer complaint.”
Though there have been previous cases in computer systems of financial institutions including credit card firms and banks have been hacked, this was the first time for an insurance company.
Customer information held by insurance companies is considered particularly sensitive since it can include health issues such as illnesses.
The government has been encouraging upgrading of the security systems of financial institutions after the networks of major broadcasters and banks including Shinhan and Nonghyup were hacked in March.
The FSS is expected to come up with a package of comprehensive measures to boost security of financial institutions next month.
By Lee Eun-joo [email@example.com]
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