SEOUL, Aug. 1 (UPI) — North Korean hackers may be behind another cyberattack that targeted South Korean government agencies.
That was the conclusion of cyber criminal investigations from South Korea’s Prosecutor’s Office that involved email hacking attempts against 90 individuals and the exposure of 56 email account passwords.
Seoul’s defense ministry said Monday it is investigating the data breach of South Korean government computers at the foreign ministry and other places, local news service Newsis reported Monday.
The hackers tried to hack into computers through email messages, according to the findings from South Korea’s prosecution.
Defense ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun told reporters Monday the ministry is “checking the facts” and whether the data breach extended to defense officials.
Another defense ministry official told Newsis the breach has not involved email hacking that targets senior defense ministry officials.
The source also stated the hack involved commercial emails that were sent to external email addresses rather than being sent to “internal mail” addresses for office use.
There’s a low likelihood any confidential material was leaked through external emails, the source said.
But another source at the foreign ministry who spoke on the condition of anonymity told News 1 “some information was leaked” due to the email hacking. The source added some employees received phishing emails.
At the unification ministry, one employee’s external email was affected. It was unconfirmed whether employees’ office emails were hacked, said a source at the ministry.
The ministry source also said the act is a “serious attack” that is “provoking a threat to national security.”
The cyberattacks took place from January to June and targeted three government ministries, a North Korea-related research institute and defense companies.