N. Korea Suspected of Hacking Emails of S. Korean Officials

Anchor: In another hacking attack suspected to have been carried out by North Korea, the e-mail access information of over 50 officials and others who closely work with the government have been stolen. Hackers, this time, used two dozen phishing Web sites, disguised as popular South Korean portals to lure the victims.
Our Kim Bum-soo has more.

Report: Over 50 sets of email log-ins and passwords of officials and others who work at government complexes have been leaked in a phishing scam.

While briefing the results of its investigation into the so-called ‘spear phishing’ attacks in the first half of the year, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office on Monday suggested that North Korea was behind the hacking.

Investigators said that the perpetrators sent e-mails to some 90 officials, military officers and reporters at the South Korean foreign, defense and unification ministries as well as to researchers at public think tanks, saying their passwords have been compromised.

Of them, 56 victims are believed to have lost their account information by clicking provided links in the email which led them to 27 phishing Web sites. They were disguised as popular major portal sites, such as Google, Naver and Daum, as well as the homepages of major South Korean universities.

The prosecution suspects the scam was conducted by the same group which hacked into the state-run Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company(KHNP) in 2014, given that they used the same web hosting provider and web source code.

Prosecutors, along with the National Intelligence Service and the Korea Internet and Security Agency, closed down the phishing Web sites in question.

Following the prosecution’s announcement, the South Korean government said that the latest hacking attack amounts to “grave provocations” against the country’s national security.

An official at the Unification Ministry said that one of its staff lost account information of a private e-mail but no official documents were lost due to the hacking. Officials at the foreign and defense ministries also confirmed that no classified documents were leaked, noting that their intranet is intact in the aftermath of the latest attack.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.


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