Japan's top messaging app gets hacked

Line app has informed users about unauthorized access to its systems, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of user, business partner, and employee records being leaked.

In a notice to affected clients on November 27th, the company stated that unauthorized actors accessed its servers through the company affiliate’s NAVER Cloud Corporation system.

The attack occurred on October 9th, when malware infected a PC owned by an employee of the affiliate company.

On October 17th, the security team at LY Corporation, which operates the Line app, determined that there was “a high possibility” that this was unauthorized outsider access into the app’s systems.

Unauthorized actors gained access to hundreds of thousands of records with user, employee, and business partner data.

The exposed Line app user data included information such as call page activity, call termination types, talk room details (including country, gender, age group, and operating system of senders and receivers), as well as details about content posting, including times and dates, total followers/friends, and the start and end times of posted videos.

Employees' personal information was also leaked, including names, employee ID numbers, and email addresses, as well as 86,071 records of the company’s business partners’ email addresses.

The company claims the leaked data did not include information regarding bank accounts, credit cards, or chat messages in the LINE app.

“We have received no reports of any secondary damage caused, including the misuse of information of users and business partners, but we will continue to conduct investigations and take prompt actions should necessary measures be required,” stated the company in the notice, while urging anyone affected by the leak to stay cautious.

Line was launched in Japan in June 2011. The popular Japanese app provides video and text chatting services, free VoIP conversations, and video conferences.

LINE is widely used not only in Japan but also in Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia, with over 176 million monthly active users worldwide.

Cybernews reported on WhatsApp, a Meta-owned messaging app, allegedly leaking its user data earlier this month. On November 16th, a threat actor posted an ad on a well-known hacking community forum, claiming they were selling a 2022 database of nearly 500 million WhatsApp user mobile numbers. A data sample investigated by Cybernews confirms this to likely be true.

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