The BBC reports that since 2004, an estimated 80% of South Korea’s 50 million people have had their personal details stolen. There are a number of problems:
- Identity numbers started to be issued in the 1960s and still follow the same pattern. The first few digits are the user's birth date, followed by either a one for male or two for female
- Their usage across different sectors makes them master keys for hackers, say experts
- If details are leaked, citizens are unable to change them
- The government required net-users who wanted to deal with banks or shops online to use a Microsoft product, ActiveX, to provide a digital signature but critics say it was a simple password that could easily be duplicated
So they’re thinking of rebuilding it from scratch. An (uncited) expert told the BBC that it might take up to a decade. I’d call that optimistic.