South Korean id cards system may need a complete overhaul following huge data thefts dating back to 2004.

The government is considering issuing new South Korean ID Cards numbers to every citizen aged over 17, costing billions of dollars.

The South Korean ID Cards numbers and personal details of an estimated 80% of the country’s 50 million people have been stolen from banks and other targets, say experts.



Revamping South Korean ID Cards System: A Comprehensive Overhaul

In the wake of significant data breaches spanning all the way back to 2004, South Korea is contemplating a complete reconstruction of its ID card system. This overhaul entails the issuance of new South Korean ID card numbers to every citizen aged 17 and above, a venture that comes with a substantial price tag.

The magnitude of the issue is staggering, with personal details and ID card numbers of an estimated 80% of the country’s 50 million residents pilfered from banks and various other sources, according to experts.

Embarking on this extensive reconstruction project could potentially span a decade, according to one expert. The colossal data theft even affected some prominent figures, including President Park Geun-hye, who was among the 20 million individuals victimized in a data breach involving three major credit card companies.

The scale of these problems has escalated to a point where finding a comprehensive solution appears increasingly elusive, as noted by technology researcher Kilnam Chon in a statement to the Associated Press.

There are several underlying factors that have made South Korean ID cards alarmingly susceptible to theft:

Outdated ID Number Format

South Korean ID card numbers have remained virtually unchanged since their inception in the 1960s. These numbers typically begin with the individual’s birthdate, followed by a ‘1’ for males and ‘2’ for females.

Universal Use Across Sectors

These ID cards are used extensively across various sectors, effectively making them master keys for hackers seeking unauthorized access.

Lack of Changeability

In the unfortunate event of a data leak, citizens are left powerless, unable to alter their compromised details.

Vulnerable Digital Signatures

To engage in online transactions with banks or shops, the government previously mandated the use of a Microsoft product and ActiveX to provide a digital signature. Critics argue that this so-called security measure was no more robust than a simple password, easily susceptible to duplication.

This turn of events is undoubtedly a source of embarrassment for a country that has prided itself on being one of the most technologically advanced nations globally. Boasting an astonishing 85% of its population online, many with access to high-speed internet, and a staggering 40 million smartphone owners, South Korea has long been considered a technological pioneer. Nevertheless, the impending revamp of the ID card system highlights the critical need for enhanced security measures and modernization in the digital age.



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