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(LEAD) Regulator plans to discipline Hyundai Capital over hacking
SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's financial regulator decided Wednesday to punish Hyundai Capital Services Inc. for lax computer system maintenance, which led to a major hacking attack at the biggest local consumer finance firm.

   The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) launched an inspection into Hyundai Capital on April 11 after a hacker broke into Hyundai Capital between March 6 and April 7, stole personal customer information and demanded cash from the company, threatening to leak it on the Internet.

   Holding Hyundai Capital accountable for negligence in computer system security management, the FSS will submit the case to its disciplinary decision committee to decide on the punishment for Hyundai Capital and its executives, according to the regulator.

   The FSS said data on 1.75 million Hyundai Capital customers was leaked during the attack, in which the hacker implanted a malicious program on the company's computer server and was able to download the personal data, more than the 420,000 customers initially stated by Hyundai Capital.

   Through last month's inspection, the FSS also found Hyundai Capital fell short of taking enough preventive measures for such attacks as required in electronic trading regulations, according to the FSS.

   The regulator noted Hyundai Capital should be held accountable for causing public jitters on the security of electronic financial transactions and triggering social troubles due to the incident.

   The regulator is also "weighing whether to penalize Chung Tae-young, the CEO of Hyundai Capital," it added.

   No financial damage has been reported so far in relation with the hacking case, but potential damage is probable down the road, it noted.

   "The FSS plans to announce measures next week to prevent similar attacks and bolster financial IT security," the regulator said.

   In a bid to screen IT security maintenance of the broader financial sector, the FSS has formed a public-private task force, assigned with inspecting financial firms, it said.

   A total of 40 sample financial firms were selected across the financial sector, in which the task force launched spot inspections on April 27 for a one-month period, the regulator added.