The South Korean government is considering a complete overhaul of its national identity number computer system – after hackers comprehensively ransacked it and now hold the ID codes for as much as 80 per cent of the population.

Each South Korean citizen is issued with a lifetime unique ID number. This number is used in all transactions, and the system has been in place since the late 1960s.

A public hearing into the database raid heard that hackers have now stolen the vast majority of these numbers, sparking an online crimewave that has hit everyone, from the highest to the lowest.

South Korea faces $1bn bill after hackers raid national ID database • The Register.