Line app hacks prompt call to alter passwords

AFP-JIJI

Users of smartphone messenger application Line, who number in the hundreds of millions across Asia, are being urged to change their passwords Thursday as Japanese police investigate the hacking of hundreds of accounts.

At least 303 cases of unauthorized access were confirmed between late May and Saturday, including three that involved cash trades resulting in financial loss, a Line spokesman said, without providing further details.

“We are cooperating with police in investigating the cases, and we are calling for users to change passwords,” the spokesman said.

The accounts were hacked “presumably after shared passwords with other online services were leaked somewhere else,” he said, adding that, to the company’s knowledge, all of the breaches occurred in Japan.

A police spokesman said the case was under investigation.

Set up in 2011, Line now has more than 400 million users, mainly in Japan and other Asian countries, and is growing fast.