≡ Menu

Hey, no rush. Whenever you get around to it.

Are you an expat with a Korean credit card? You may want to be concerned:

Financial regulators as well as credit card firms and their parent banks have not provided any services for foreign credit card holders to check whether their data was leaked, nor have they offered compensation packages.
“We haven’t yet been informed of cases involving foreigners whose personal data was leaked,” an official from the FSS said. “But that doesn’t mean that foreign residents’ personal information was not stolen.”

An FSS official went on record saying he thinks data from all the foreign card holders was leaked. Great.

So what measures have been taken to alert foreign card holders? Nada:

He admitted that the current measures focus on Koreans, as they did not have enough time to take care of foreigners.

I’m hoping something got lost in translation there.

Anyway, as Benjamin Wagner tweeted:

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • RElgin

    It is a good idea to go speak directly to a bank officer about your card status. If there are any spurious charges, they are obligated to make good for them.

    I did receive several spam from one loan shark (allcredit.co. kr) who directly refered to my Kookmin Bank account and used the Kookmin bank logo too. I reported the spam but Korean ISPs are usually non-responsive to spam or fraud complaints.

  • Dan Strickland

    My son, who is a fraud of investigator for Bank of America, tells me this is the go-to guy for this sort of thing: http://krebsonsecurity.com/

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Don’t be so hard on your son.

  • http://www.busanhaps.com/ Bobby McGill

    280,000 foreign credit card holders. I’d say the fees from all of us surely could pay for some translation of what the heck is going on. Heading down to the bank in the morning to see what’s what.

  • flyingsword

    You think Korea would be more internet security savy but overall seem very naive when it comes to internet security. Keep getting burned by USBs in particular.
    Of course it seems most retailers in the US aren’t much better.

  • http://www.busanhaps.com/ Bobby McGill

    This might be the straw that breaks Active X’s back, though unlikely related to the actual theft.

  • SeoulGoodman

    Yes, and they’ve certainly made money off of me. I’ve had the same bank account and some credit cards here since the ’90s.

    I’m cancelling the credit card that I never use and will be sure to tell the customer service representative that I’m doing so because of the leak.

  • SeoulGoodman

    I’ve spoken to Shinhan. Their customers aren’t affected according to the person I spoke to. The following article provides clearer information than the above linked one:

  • http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal ZenKimchi

    In one of the articles, it looked like some folks were detained. So may be an inside job… From an outsourcer.

  • http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal ZenKimchi

    Looks like CJ Mall card holders got hit as well.

  • ryuNchoosk

    No worries it wasn’t Shinhan banks turn, it got hacked last March along with Nonghyup and Jeju banks, servers were blocked and files erased.
    The executives of KB ought to be fired for ignoring the hundreds of thousands of “foreigners” alone but the Korean chairman don’t give a hoot about them. I think it’s KEB that hasn’t been hacked yet.

  • RElgin

    Maintaining ActiveX controls also hurts Korean business in any attempt to sell goods online. I wanted to buy a hoodie designed by “Crib” but could not because of their sites insistence upon using activeX.

    Sale lost and the Korean Government is to blame for this as well.

  • ryuNchoosk

    Koreans must be fed up with this news as the cafe that feeds gov. workers I’m nearest to which always has YTN or KBS news on changed the channel during dinner.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Busan Haps says 27 executives have resigned so far. What’s up with Korean executives or officials immediately resigning when something goes wrong? Sure, I get it – they’re shamed. But resigning doesn’t solve the problem. These incompetent cowards should stay at the office and figure out exactly how half the country’s banking information was somehow copied to a USB drive. Christ.

  • RElgin

    True enough. Let people learn from their mistakes unless they are hopeless. Why would they want to decimate their knowledge base in this manner unless it was not worth very much to begin with.

  • RElgin

    On a parallel vein, I used to order Superga sneakers (Supgerga.co.uk) shoes from the UK, like last October, for example. Now, they no longer sell to South Korea, though they sell to almost any other place imaginable.

    Why? Because of credit card problems with this region, the same excuse I got from designbyhumans regarding why they quit shipping to South Korea. They tried to claim that it was because their carriers did not ship to this country, but that was pure nonsense so I pressed them on this. Designbyhumans has resumed selling to South Korea, as of now, however, I am really encountering a brickwall when it comes to doing business from South Korea due to online or credit card-related security issues.

    Someone in the government needs to wake up and come up with solutions – for the sake of increasing commerce with the rest of the world.

  • seouldout

    “Someone in the government needs to wake up and come up with solutions – for the sake of increasing commerce with the rest of the world.”

    That’s money flowing out of the vaterland. You really think the gov’t wants to make that easier?

    Anyway, find a proxy or a forwarding service that provides a post office box for your use. Good ones may even consolidate shipments to save you a bit of money.

  • RElgin

    Money coming *into* South Korea you mean, by selling Korean goods.

    Proxy mailing services are not cheap and are not a substitute for a secure, transactional infrastructure.

  • seouldout

    I didn’t say “into”. I read your complaint of being unable to purchase goods from two overseas retailers. “Now, they no longer sell to South Korea.” That’s money going *out*.

    ” I am really encountering a brickwall when it comes to doing business from South Korea due to online or credit card-related security issues.

    Someone in the government needs to wake up and come up with solutions– for the sake of increasing commerce with the rest of the world.”

    The “online or credit card-related security issues” were with Supgerga.co.uk, which is outside Korea. And the “same excuse I got from designbyhumans regarding why they quit shipping to South Korea.” Also outside Korea.

    As far as I can tell nowhere in your comment did you mention difficulty had by those outside Korea purchasing goods sold in Korea, which would lead to, of course, money coming into Korea.

  • silver surfer


    So, 20 million Koreans (!!) have had their data leaked. Small wonder they haven’t focused on the foreigners caught up in this mess.

  • RElgin

    This works both ways in that I wanted to buy something, as I mentioned earlier, from a Korean clothing manufacturer, but their use of activex prevents me from purchasing Korean goods online. That is what I referred to as in money coming in. I apologize if I was not precise there.

  • RElgin

    Yeah, I thought the same since Koreans can yell louder in Korean than us poor foreigners most of the time. Locally the newspapers are quoting a higher number too, like 82 million card holders.

  • Eric

    I am not surprised since these are the same idiots who think Korean citizenship holding foreigners don’t need to access their bank accounts in their mother tongue. Here is a message I received from Shinhan Bank regarding this problem:
    “Thank you for getting in touch. Our department listened to the message you sent us.

    With regards to the foreign language services available on our ATM’s , this service is intended for – and thus only available to – those registered as a foreign resident in Korea. If you are registered as a foreign resident, then please notify one of our branches who will change your status (if need be) on our systems

    In the past, Korean residents were allowed to use the foreign language service available however due to security threats, the Financial Supervisory Services (FSS) decided to change the regulations and make the service only available to foreign residents; this was also based on the premise that Korean nationals do not need to use the foreign services either.

    We apologize that you felt this practice is discriminatory however it was implemented in the interests of security.

    On a final note, whilst we invite and appreciate your comments, please note that is not permitted to record our staff without their prior consent.

    We hope this information is useful.

    Kind regards,

    Foreign Customer Deot.”

  • Eric

    “* in the past criminal activity had been directed towards the accounts belonging to foreigners so the decision to only allow foreigners to use the foreign language service was purely an act to protect, not discriminate.

    Having read your additional posts on our page, we do sympathize with your situation in that you are a registered Korean and would like to access your services in English however at the moment there is no way around this provision

    We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.

    Our team will discuss this and get back to you asap; we may or may not come to some solution; it may be that this kind of scenario, although not common, needs to be addressed.

    In the mean time, if you are not able to use the ATM’s in Korean, please seek the assistance of a member of staff or please keep the number 1577-8380 (weekdays 9am – 5pm) handy.

    kind regards,

    Foreign Customer Dept.

  • Dan Strickland

    This whole business is odd, though – when my son is looking at people who’ve been ripped off, he has no idea and no way to find out if they’re citizens, green card holders, or what-have-you. One would think it would be tedious and time-consuming to parse out the foreigner accounts from the local Korean accounts, but I guess not. But again, why?

  • setnaffa

    Don’t worry. The NSA has been keeping track. You can ask them to validate your transactions based on your cell phone’s metadata.

  • setnaffa

    I do not believe in the “Someone from the government must save us” BS. I think a private sector security team could make a mint devising security that works. “The government” is so full of bureaucrats that it will always be like the ACA website when Aetna, Cigna, BlueCrossBlueShield, and any number of private companies already have working websites.

  • Arghaeri

    Pretty easy to parse out the cards not held in the names Park, Lee & Kim :-)