A former Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co. employee was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing client information through illicit access to the firm’s database.
Hideaki Kubo, 44, whom the securities firm dismissed and reported to police in April, allegedly stole personal data on about 1.48 million clients by accessing the database using a colleague’s identification codes and recording them on CDs between Jan. 26 and Feb. 4.
Kubo, who was a deputy manager at the Tokyo-based firm’s computer system department, was in a position to know the IDs and passwords of several other employees as he had engaged in computer system development, the Metropolitan Police Department said.
The police said they arrested him for violating the law banning unauthorized computer access, because taking out information does not constitute theft under the Criminal Code. Kubo, a resident of the city of Chiba, is also charged with allegedly stealing the firm’s CDs.
Since Kubo revealed in an internal probe by the firm that he had considerable consumer finance debts, the police believe he was seeking to profit from the data he took and repay his loans.
According to the brokerage arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Kubo took home data on almost all of its clients and copied the information onto his personal computer.
He sold data on about 49,000 clients for about ¥320,000 to dealers of such information who resold the data to 95 firms, the brokerage said.
After some customer inquiries, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities brought the information leak to light April 8 through an internal probe.
Following Kubo’s arrest, the brokerage made a fresh apology to clients, and pledged efforts to prevent damage from the incident from spreading. The firm also confirmed its continued cooperation with the police investigation.
Founded in October 2005 through the merger of Mitsubishi Securities Co. and UFJ Tsubasa Securities Co., Mitsubishi UFJ Securities has a workforce of roughly 6,500 and a network of about 130 operating bases in Japan and abroad.
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