updated 11:28 am EDT, Thu June 19, 2014
Messaging app Line claims servers not hacked, blames user security lapses
Line is warning users of its messaging app to change their passwords, after a number of accounts were accessed illegally in the last month. Despite the password change request and the involvement of Japanese police in the reported intrusions, Line is claiming that its servers have not been hacked, and instead pins the blame on the hacked users themselves.
The AFP writes that there have been at least 303 instances of unauthorized access between late May and June 14th, with three involving "cash trades resulting in a financial loss." A spokesperson for Line states "We are cooperating with police in investigating the cases, and we are calling for users to change passwords." It is suggested the hackers acquired the passwords through leaks on other online services, with users using the same password elsewhere being the most at risk from attack.
A similar statement was provided to The Next Web, advising for users to "protect their personal information by using [an] individualized password for Line and changing it on a regular basis." Confusingly, the statement asks for users not to disclose their ID, one of a number of ways users are able to search and add other users on the service. Line has yet to inform users directly about changing their password, only doing so through the report.
While heavily prominent in Japan and parts of Asia, though slowly becoming more popular in other parts of the world, Line currently has more than 400 million users.