(Defense Department)

SEOUL — U.S. Forces Korea said Thursday the personal information of more than 16,000 South Korean employees, former employees and job applicants may have been stolen from its human resources recruiting system.

USFK senior leadership was notified May 28 of a possible compromise to a Civilian Human Resources Agency Far East website server involving two databases where information for South Korean job applicants and Army Korean Nationals were stored.

The system was subsequently removed from the network. No banking or credit card data or military or defense-related classified information was compromised, according to USFK.

“USFK aggressively and diligently identified potentially impacted individuals, and has taken measures to notify them immediately,” the command said. “USFK remains confident in our network surveillance and protection system and will continue to vigilantly protect our networks and information.”

The statement said USFK has taken “prudent action,” reported the potential theft to the relevant South Korean ministries and is consulting with the South Korean government. The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command’s computer crimes unit is investigating.

“We deeply regret and apologize for any inconvenience and concern this may cause you,” USFK commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti said in a letter Thursday to South Korean employees. “Safety and protection…are paramount.”

USFK is sending letters to those affected by the possible breach and has set up a call center to work with them. It also will offer credit monitoring services to those who request help. For more information, contact the Korean National Recruiting System Call Center at 080-850-1212. Twitter: @Rowland_Stripes

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