GMO Internet’s crypto-currency business boosts customer safeguards amid cyber attacks worldwide

Maria Nikolova

GMO-Z.com Coin refers to information leaks from various online services and the abuse of data stolen from third parties.

GMO-Z.com Coin, the recently launched crypto-currency exchange business of GMO Internet Inc (TYO:9449), is planning to beef customer safeguards in light of the rise of cyber attacks worldwide.

In a brief announcement, the company explains that users of the service will soon have to switch to 2-factor authentication. This should be done by Friday, July 7, 2017. If users do not switch, they will be blocked from withdrawing Japanese yen and from sending virtual currency to an external wallet.

The company explicitly mentions the recent increase in the activity of cyber criminals and notes the information leaks from some websites that lead to data being stolen by third parties.

It was another company of the GMO “family” – GMO Payment Gateway Inc (TYO:3769) that in March this year reported of two of the websites of its clients affected by a data leak and unauthorized third-party access. According to preliminary estimates, the number of “units of information” leaked through the Tokyo Metropolitan Government website was 676,290, including 614,629 email addresses, 61,661 credit card numbers and credit card expiration dates. The number of “units” of credit card information reportedly leaked from the Japan Housing Finance Agency was 43,540, including credit card numbers, credit card expiration dates, security codes, credit card payment registration dates, addresses, email addresses, names, phone numbers, as well as dates of birth and payment joining dates. The numbers were subsequently revised to avoid doubling of information.

To provide a more recent example of a cyber attack on a Japanese business, let’s mention last week’s incident reported by Japanese Forex broker Kabu.com Securities, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (TYO:8306). The broker said it had fallen victim to a DDoS attack. The cyber attack targeted the website of the company, which was unavailable for about 36 minutes on June 29, 2017.

Another online trading business that was recently hit by a DDoS attack is Canada’s Questrade. On June 19, 2017, the company confirmed that it had been the victim of a DDoS attack. The trading platforms of the company were subject to the attack. The company explained that what happened was not a ‘hack’ and no personal information had been compromised.

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