Updated November. 10, 2006 07:07
Employers of phone sex companies have been arrested on charges of taking the personal information of 8,420,000 customers from rival companies and sending about 100 million lascivious text messages to them.
The Cyber Terror Response Center of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency arrested phone sex company officials, including Nam (38, female), and a hacker, Lee (33), and indicted four others without detention. They are charged with taking the personal information of customers (a violation of the Information and Communications Law) such as security numbers and cell phone numbers from other phone sex companies by hiring a professional hacker.
According to police, Nam and Kang (33), president of another firm, let Lee, who is a professional programmer, break into servers for clients of their 67 competitors and steal 8.42 million personal information items.
The suspects used Daepo phones established in other names, such as those of homeless people whose resident registrations have expired and credit delinquents, and duplicated cell phones in order to send text messages. As a result, they have yet to pay the fees for sending the text messages, which come out to 30 won for one message and approximately three billion won for the 100 million messages in total.
In particular, they analyzed client usage statistics and classified clients who used phone sex services for over one hour or frequently as superior clients and focused on sending messages to them. The police revealed that they made 2.5 billion won in profit over one year by stealing 0.1 million customers from competitors.
Lee downloaded a hacking program, X-Scan, from a Chinese website and broke into other phone sex companies servers 12,000 times to get client information.
It is estimated that the number of frequent users of phone sex companies is around 30,000; the service charge is 500 won per a half minute and 60,000 won per hour.
More and more victims get text messages, then get connected to these phone sex services and end up paying a huge charge.
This is the first time someone who broke into several servers at the same time and took personal information has been caught, police said. Communication service companies can check out Daepo phones by confirming a client who used a phone excessively in a short time. However, their passive attitude has resulted in shifting losses to customers.