This story on the excellent Register website was a bit scary – Softbank Japan admit they may have released 4,500,000 currenty and former customers of the YahooBB! service details to other parties. Maybe not credit card details, but pretty much everything else. The most bizarre aspect is, it was most likely an inside job, and some people are even using the words ‘blackmail’ and ‘extortion’. It turns out that 130 people had access to that database, and over 90 were temp staff – of course, many others may have shared logins.
As a gesture, Softbank will give all those affected, a 500 yen gift voucher.
For those who live outside Japan, YahooBB!s strategy is to hand out free modem routers on street corners in bright red bags – if you don’t like the service, you just send it back. This is how YahooBB! got so many names and addresses.
I don’t know why, but this makes me think quite a lot about the sokaiya rackets of the mid/late nineties. It has to be said that there are still some people getting away with big things.