Japan's second largest mobile phone operator has reported that personal information on almost four million subscribers has been compromised. Two arrests have been made in the breach, which was apparently an inside job and an attempt to blackmail the company.
KDDI reports massive personal data leak - Yahoo! News
Tue Jun 13, 7:53 AM ET
TOKYO (AFP) - KDDI Corp, Japan's number two mobile operator, said that private information on nearly four million subscribers to its Internet service had been leaked.
Police said extortionists tried to sell the data which included the names, addresses, contact numbers, sex, birthdate and e-mail addresses of those who applied for KDDI's Dion Internet service by December 18, 2003.
But information such as their passwords, bank account information and communications logs has not released, the company said.
Tadashi Onodera, KDDI president and chairman, offered a public apology at a press conference.
'We consider that this will hurt our company's credibility. We will do our best to restore customers' trust by explaining the issue,' Onodera told reporters, although he said there were no plans for compensation.
Information seems to have been leaked by KDDI employees or a vendor who had access to the system because it is impossible to access it from the outside, Onodera said.
Police said they arrested two men who attempted extortion in the case, reportedly demanding KDDI pay five million to 10 million yen (43,700 to 87,000 dollars) for the data.
Onodera declined to comment on the issue as it is under police investigation.
KDDI learned about the leak through an anonymous phone call on May 30 and the next day a person handed a CD-ROM with data from 400,000 customers to its headquarters' reception desk, he said.