The Korea Herald

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High-ranking military officials' e-mail hacked, possibly by N. Korea

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : May 21, 2024 - 14:16

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South Korean police on Tuesday said they were investigating a hacking attack on the personal email accounts of high-ranking military officials, with North Korea the likely suspect.

The Cyber Investigation Bureau of the National Police Agency recently found that the email accounts of several military generals and officials of the Defense Ministry have been hacked. Officials declined to reveal the number or specific posts of the victims, but it has been reported that vice minister-level officials are included.

Officials noted that the stolen emails were from their personal accounts, not from the ones in the military or government email service.

The emails of 100 other South Koreans, including experts of foreign policy and security, have also been hacked.

North Korea, under the dictatorial regime of Kim Jong-un, has conducted cyberattacks against South Korea in varying forms. Last month, the cyber investigation bureau of the NPA announced that three most prominent hacking groups in the North -- Lazarus, Andariel and Kimsuky -- have infiltrated 10 South Korean defense firms in an attempt to steal key defense technologies.

The attack is believed to have occurred since November 2022.

Earlier this year, the US issued a cybersecurity advisory against malicious cyber activities by Kimsuky, raising awareness over possible information theft.

In February, Seoul's National Intelligence Service found that North Korea appears to be behind the hacking of a presidential official's email account that occurred in November of last year.

South and North Korea are still technically at war against each other, since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.