ISPs Suspected of Massive Identity Theft in Korea

Police are investigating South Korea's two biggest internet service providers, KT and Hanaro Telecom Inc., on suspicion that they broke identity theft laws on more than seven million occasions. The two companies are suspected of signing up more than seven million customers for services without their permission, according to police sources cited by local media today. Investigators stated that many of the company's internet service customers were apparently illegally signed up for additional services by telephone sales agents, who did not obtain the written consent required under law. The two ISPs may have illegally signed up 7.3 million of the 10 million households and businesses in the country that rely on them for internet service.

More than 60 employees and agents working for the two firms are now being questioned by police. KT has announced that it is cooperating with authorities and that it will improve internal data security procedures. Hanaro Telecom CEO Park Byung-Moo made an apparent apology at a press conference today, saying "he feels sorry to customers for causing such trouble," according to the Korea Herald.

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