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Official: Hacking attack on presidential site causes massive data leak

SEOUL, June 30 (Yonhap) -- Personal information from roughly 100,000 people was leaked in a recent hacking attack on the presidential office, a presidential official said Sunday, in the first confirmed data leakage involving the top South Korean office.

The official said the compromised information includes names, birth dates, identification numbers and offline addresses and Internet Protocol addresses, which are the online equivalent of street addresses or phone numbers.

Still, users' passwords and their registration numbers -- the South Korean equivalent of U.S. social security numbers -- were not stolen since they were encrypted, said the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing policy.

The presidential office has offered an apology over the leakage of its users' personal information and said the hacking victims, who account for about half of registered users of its website, can seek compensation.

Unidentified hackers attacked the websites of the presidential office, another government agency and several media organizations on June 25, the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

Anonymous, a loosely associated hacking group, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A number of North Korean websites and networks, including the country's main newspaper the Rodong Sinmun, were also offline on June 25 after Anonymous warned of cyber attacks on the communist country.

In February, the Seoul Western District Court ordered SK Communications Co., South Korea's third-largest Internet portal service provider, to pay 200,000 won (US$175) to each of the 2,882 victims for the leak of personal information in a hacking attack in 2011. The total amounted to some 570 million won.