Probe on e-mail hacking

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 August, 2008, 12:00am

Police are investigating a suspected hacking case that left more than 1,000 e-mails sent to the Japanese consulate in Hong Kong this month vulnerable to interception.

The police technology crime division - under the Commercial Crime Bureau - contacted internet service provider KDDI Hong Kong over the breach after it was reported in yesterday's South China Morning Post, a police spokeswoman said. 'An investigation is under way,' she said.

The KDDI glitch, discovered on August 1, caused clients' e-mails to be redirected to a third party. Believed to be a case of hacking, it continued from July 31 to last Thursday.

Lento Yip Yuk-fai, vice-chairman of the Internet Service Providers Association, said no guideline existed for e-mail server protection, and security policies varied among internet service providers.

But a guideline was not necessary as market forces would drive ISPs to provide quality services, he said.

Roy Ko Wai-tak, manager of the Computer Emergency Response Team Co-ordination Centre, said the security responsibilities of ISPs depended on their customer contracts.

'Ofta [the telecommunications watchdog] issues the licences with conditions, but they are never concrete in security measures,' Mr Ko said.

The Hong Kong Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it had not received any complaints from its 600 member companies.

'It is a matter for the Hong Kong government [to investigate],' its secretary general, Hiroshi Matsui, said.