In February, Homeplus Co., the South Korean unit of British retail giant Tesco PLC, was also indicted on charges of illegally selling the personal data of 24 million customers to insurance firms for a total of 23 billion won.
Most of the information was collected under the guise of conducting a lottery for free gifts.
Homeplus chief Do Sung-hwan, five other former and current company executives and employees as well as two officials from the insurance companies have also been indicted over their involvement in the case.
The underground world of computer hackers has been so thoroughly infiltrated in the US by the FBI and secret service that it is now riddled with paranoia and mistrust, with an estimated one in four hackers secretly informing on their peers, a Guardian investigation has established.
Cyber policing units have had such success in forcing online criminals to co-operate with their investigations through the threat of long prison sentences that they have managed to create an army of informants deep inside the hacking community.
Lulz Security shares qualities with the hacktivist group Anonymous that has launched attacks against companies including Visa and MasterCard as a protest against their decision to block donations to WikiLeaks. While Lulz Security is so recent a phenomenon that the FBI has yet to get a handle on it, Anonymous is already under pressure from the agency. There were raids on 40 addresses in the US and five in the UK in January, and a grand jury has been hearing evidence against the group in California at the start of a possible federal prosecution.