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USFK troops apparently not affected by massive South Korea data theft

SEOUL — U.S. troops appear to have been unaffected by the massive theft of personal data from three major South Korean credit card companies that has impacted tens of millions and led to calls to overhaul information protection measures.

U.S. Forces Korea said Thursday that its Client Legal Services has received no reports of servicemembers or dependents having their South Korean financial data stolen.

Prosecutors announced earlier this month that an employee working for an outsourcing firm for Lotte Card and the credit card divisions of NongHyup Financial Group and KB Financial Group had leaked data from 104 million accounts.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap News, the employee for the Korea Credit Bureau, a personal credit ratings agency, was indicted along with two others for illegally obtaining confidential data while working as temporary consultants.

The Financial Services Commission on Monday said no cases of damage resulting from the theft had been reported. Because the stolen information did not include credit card passwords or CVC codes, the Commission said it was unlikely the data could be used for financial fraud.

News of the data breach has caused something of a panic in this heavily wired country of 49 million, where it is common for people to hold multiple credit cards. Local media reported worried customers had jammed phone lines and overwhelmed bank websites. Millions had canceled or suspended credit card accounts or requested new cards.

The scandal has led to the resignations of financial executives and promises by the government to toughen penalties for leaking personal information, in addition to new measures meant to protect data handling by financial firms, according to news reports.

USFK said legal services can offer assistance to those facing legal difficulties related to identity theft and can advise clients on how to get a free copy of their credit report and repair their credit. To schedule a legal consultation, call DSN 738-8111.

rowland.ashley@stripes.com
Twitter: @Rowland_Stripes

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