Tokyo police make arrest in massive data leak case

Jul 17, 2014
A picture shows binary code reflected from a computer screen in a woman's eye

Tokyo police said Thursday they had arrested an engineer for allegedly stealing massive amounts of personal data from an educational services firm, a leak that may ultimately affect more than 20 million people.

Private details—including names, addresses, phone numbers and birthdays—were stolen by 39-year-old suspect Masaomi Matsuzaki, police said, with Japanese media reporting that he sold the information for about 2.5 million yen ($24,600).

The magnitude of the leak, which has been headline news in Japan, prompted angry calls for an explanation from Benesse, one of the country's best-known companies.

The firm, whose holdings include the Berlitz language education brand, offers services ranging from teaching babies how to use toys to English instruction.

Benesse said last week that it had confirmed the leak of of at least 7.6 million people, but it added that the problem could ultimately affect more than 20 million.

However, other details such as , banking data and student performance evaluations were safe, it said.

Matsuzaki was a systems engineer at a Benesse affiliate when he allegedly copied personal details of customers who had supplied the information to the company, according to police. They said a minimum of 10 million were affected.

The theft was discovered when people started receiving phone calls and advertising letters from Benesse rivals that should not have had the information, authorities said.

Explore further: S. Korea police arrest two over mass telecom data theft

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

France's Orange hit by hackers data raid

May 07, 2014

Hackers have stolen the personal data of 1.3 million customers of French telephone company Orange, in the second major breach of its kind in a matter of months.

S. Korea vows harsh penalties for data leaks

Jan 22, 2014

South Korean regulators Wednesday vowed harsh corporate penalties for data theft, as angry customers swamped credit card offices for a third day after 20 million people had their financial information stolen.

Recommended for you

Impoverished North Korea falls back on cyber weapons

19 hours ago

As one of the world's most impoverished powers, North Korea would struggle to match America's military or economic might, but appears to have settled on a relatively cheap method to torment its foe.

Five ways to make your email safer in case of a hack attack

19 hours ago

The Sony hack, the latest in a wave of company security breaches, exposed months of employee emails. Other hacks have given attackers access to sensitive information about a company and its customers, such as credit-card ...

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.