Privacy watchdog probes into South Korean telecom giant’s customer data breach

By Kuksung Nam, The Readable
Jan. 12, 2023 9:29PM KST Updated Jan. 13, 2023 11:18AM KST

South Korea’s privacy watchdog has launched an investigation into the nation’s third largest telecommunication company after the personal data of almost 180,000 customers, including users’ names, birth dates, and phone numbers, was breached and posted on the dark web.

The Personal Information Protection Commission said on Wednesday that it will examine the details of the incident and the volume of the personal information that LG Uplus has allegedly exposed. The commission plans to look into whether the telecommunication giant has mishandled its users’ data, violating the privacy law.

This is not the first time that LG Uplus has been under the scrutiny of South Korea’s privacy watchdog. The telecom giant, which has more than fifteen million people as its users, was fined 6 million won ($4,800) this past autumn for a security violation which led to its employees’ login credentials being leaked on the dark web.

It is unclear for now whether there is a relationship between these two breaches. Both the PIPC and the Korea Internet & Security Agency told The Readable that they could not give further information about the data breach, as the case is still undergoing investigation.

The cover image of this article was designed by Areum Hwang.

Kuksung Nam is a cybersecurity journalist for The Readable. She covers cybersecurity issues in South Korea, including the public and private sectors. Prior to joining The Readable, she worked as a political reporter for one of the top-five local newspapers in South Korea, The Kyeongin Ilbo, where she reported several exclusive stories regarding the misconduct of local government officials. She is currently focused on issues related to anti-fraud, as well as threats and crimes in cyberspace. She is a Korean native who is fluent in English and French, and she is interested in delivering the news to a global audience.