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(LEAD) Probe begins into Nonghyup's crippling computer glitch
SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's financial watchdog and central bank launched an inspection on Monday into a computer glitch at the country's agricultural cooperative lender that crippled its online services for days last week.

   The examination came as last week's computer glitch at the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, or Nonghyup, sparked concern over local financial firms' maintenance of computer security, personal information and transaction data.

   Nonghyup's online financial transactions were suspended for six days last week due to the glitch. Who is behind the accident and why are still unknown.

   In order to verify that Nonghyup complies with computer security regulations, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) launched the investigation into the firm's computer system division, according to the regulator.

   In the inspection jointly conducted with the Bank of Korea, the FSS will vet the cooperative lender's internal computer system maintenance and its compliance with local laws governing electronic financial transactions, according to the FSS.
Nonghyup said it suspects the computer glitch was caused by a cyber attack by unidentified inside people who entered commands to destroy computer servers and delete information on some transaction histories.

   "The latest incident was conducted internally ... the meticulously designed commands entered through a laptop computer owned by a subcontractor company were carried out to simultaneously destroy the entire server system," Nonghyup official Kim You-kyung said in a briefing.

   No consumer information leaks have been found and the company will compensate customers entirely for any financial losses caused by the service stoppage, Kim said, without disclosing how much it expects to pay in compensation.

   The company also noted all the services will be back to normal by Friday, referring to still-suspended services on credit and debit card operations.

   The latest inspection came after the FSS started a similar examination last week into Hyundai Capital Service Inc., which suffered a hacking attack that leaked 420,000 customers' personal information.

   The Financial Services Commission, the top financial rule-making body, said last week it will form a task force to formulate measures to improve the management of financial companies' computer security systems and beef up their security-related organizations.

   pbr@yna.co.kr
(END)
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