Line app urges password changes as Japan probes hacking (Update)

Jun 19, 2014
Smartphone messenger application Line, which has hundreds of millions of users across Asia, is urging people to change their passwords as Japanese police investigate the hacking of hundreds of accounts

Smartphone messenger application Line, which has hundreds of millions of users across Asia, was urging people to change their passwords Thursday as Japanese police investigated the hacking of hundreds of accounts.

At least 303 cases of unauthorised access were confirmed between late May and June 14, including three that involved cash trades resulting in financial loss, a Line spokesman told AFP, without providing further details.

"We are cooperating with police in investigating the cases, and we are calling for users to change passwords," the spokesman said.

The accounts were hacked "presumably after shared passwords with other online services were leaked somewhere else," he said, adding that to the company's knowledge, all of the breaches occurred in Japan.

Another spokeswoman for the company stressed that Line's servers had not come under attack.

"Line's system itself has suffered nothing abnormal. It is not that our system was hacked," she said.

A police spokesman said the case was under investigation.

Set up in 2011, Line now has more than 400 million users, mainly in Japan and mainland Asia, and is growing fast.

The service lets users make free calls, send instant messages and post photos or short videos, combining attributes from Facebook, Skype and messaging application WhatsApp.

Line has forged heavyweight partnerships with football clubs FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, brands such as Coca-Cola and tennis star Rafael Nadal.

FC Barcelona, for instance, has a home page on the app which has millions of "friends".

One of Line's main selling points is its "stickers"—funny, cartoon-like figures that users can post to friends.

Explore further: Subway riders' smartphones could carry tracking malware

Related Stories

WhatsApp deal highlights suite of similar apps

Feb 20, 2014

Facebook's announcement it is paying $19 billion in cash and stock to acquire WhatsApp is a milestone event in the short history of mobile messaging apps. Hundreds of millions of people have downloaded suc ...

73,000 Finnish web users' details hacked: police

Nov 28, 2011

The login details of 73,000 users of a popular Finnish family-oriented discussion forum were stolen and posted online in the latest in a series of widespread hacking attacks, police said Monday.

Recommended for you

Subway riders' smartphones could carry tracking malware

9 hours ago

Millions of city dwellers with smartphones in hand, pocket or bag, use trains to get around night and day, seven days a week. The incoming message from three researchers in China is that an attacker could ...

NSA winds down once-secret phone-records collection program

May 24, 2015

The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration ...

Adult dating website hack exposes personal data

May 22, 2015

A data breach at a website billed as "the world's largest sex and swinger" community may expose personal and sexual information on millions of users worldwide, a report said Friday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.