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: Snapchat adds chat as messaging space heats up

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

Security meet hears about "No iOS Zone" vulnerability

Apr 22, 2015

At the RSA security conference in San Francisco. a security firm's researchers presented what they said was a vulnerability allowing attackers to crash iOS devices in range of a WiFi hotspot. Chris Mills ...

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.