Thousands of i-Pins stolen in hacking

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Thousands of i-Pins stolen in hacking

The Internet Personal Identification Number (i-PIN) system has been hacked for the first time, according to authorities. The i-PIN is the commercial online alternative to Korea’s resident registration number and is used to safeguard personal information.

The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs announced on Thursday that a hacker is believed to have illegally acquired 752,130 i-PINs from the ministry from Saturday to Monday and then used them on online gaming websites.

The hacking of the i-PIN program and its verification system may cause widespread damage. Beginning this year, the government prohibited websites from collecting resident registration numbers and required the use of i-PINs instead.

“There were more than 2,000 domestic IP addresses used in the hacking,” a ministry official said, “and they were traced back to a server that uses a Chinese program.”

The hacker is believed to have used names and resident registration numbers, which are already widespread on the black market, to obtain the i-PINs. The i-PINs were found to have been used on three gaming websites to create accounts and locate and change personal information on existing accounts. The ministry believes the hacker attempted to steal game points or items from the users.

The ministry suspended all of the 752,130 stolen i-PINs and has requested a police investigation.

BY KIM BONG-MOON, LEE SANG-EON [kim.bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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