Over 100 Taiwanese political figures' messages leaked outta LINE app

Attack turned off encryption function, which made snooping rather easier


Law enforcement agencies in Taiwan are investigating a cyberattack on over 100 local political figures and dignitaries who used the messaging app LINE.

A statement issued Wednesday by LINE confirmed the attack and stated the company took measures to protect its users and reported the incident to relevant law enforcement agencies.

"LINE has been actively and cautiously fighting against global cybercrimes and attacks," the statement reads, adding "Data security and user privacy is one of our most important issues, and we will continue to take necessary responses to this incident."

Taiwanese news outlet Liberty Times reported that LINE's Taiwan Headquarters discovered user content, mainly pertaining to politicians and officials, had been extracted last week.

The attack worked by turning off "Letter Sealing" encryption functions on the targeted users' accounts.

LINE, the most popular instant messenger and online call service in Taiwan, advised concerned users to check that the Letter Sealing function was activated on their app. When on, the function encrypts text messages, location information and voice and video calls.

This incident is not the first time LINE's security has been brought into question. In March, infosec concerns led Japanese government officials to stop using the app when it was found that Chinese contractors had access to personal data. ®

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