Taiwanese police bust hacking, data theft ring

Police in Taiwan have arrested six people suspected of stealing personal data from state firms, including information about the island's current and former presidents, an AFP report said.

The AFP report further quoted an official at Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau saying the hackers had tapped into data held by government agencies, state-run firms, telecom companies and a television shopping network.

He called it the biggest hacking operation of its kind in Taiwan.

The suspects are believed to have stolen more than 50 million records of personal data, including information about President Ma Ying-jeou, his predecessor Chen Shui-bian and police chief Wang Cho-chiun, the official said.

They then offered to sell the information for NT$300 (€6.7, US$10) per entry, he said.

The hackers, based in Taiwan and China, also swindled victims out of millions of Taiwan dollars through their online bank accounts, he said.

They will face up to five years in prison on charges of hacking and fraud.