Personal information for as many as 430,000 individuals may have been leaked following suspected illegal access to the Nippon Television Network Corp. (Nippon TV) website, company officials announced on April 21.
Viewer data including names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses collected in conjunction with gift offers and opinion solicitations by a total of 15 Nippon TV programs -- including "24-Hour Television" and "Oshare-ism" -- were affected in the incident.
According to network PR officials, the unauthorized access began at around 1:30 p.m. on April 20, and appeared to be routed through overseas servers from domestic ones. An investigation was begun at around 4:30 p.m. that day, after an abnormal spike in website access numbers was discovered. Evidence that personal data had been copied was confirmed shortly thereafter.
Nippon TV officials found that the attack exploited a vulnerability in the website's online submission form, used by viewers to input personal information. The network then deleted the submission form program in the early hours of April 21.
In addition to contacting viewers possibly affected by the attack, the network also convened an expert committee to ascertain the root cause of the problem and prevent a recurrence.
A statement from the network said, "We deeply apologize for causing such trouble and worry." Nippon TV said that it will also make further information regarding the incident available on its website.
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