Tue, Aug 02, 2016 - Page 6 News List

Group likely run by Pyongyang behind cyberattack: Seoul

AP, SEOUL

An organization likely run by North Korea’s government hacked into the e-mail accounts of dozens of officials, journalists and others in South Korea this year, South Korean officials said yesterday, the latest cyberattack that the South blames on its rival.

The organization sent phishing e-mails to government officials, journalists and professors who specialize in North Korean affairs to try to trick them into giving away their passwords, the South Korean Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said in a statement.

The passwords for at least 56 of the e-mail accounts were eventually leaked, according to the statement.

South Korean authorities were investigating whether any confidential government information was stolen, but the prosecutors’ office said there had been no reports of leakage of sensitive information.

The statement said the contents of the phishing e-mails, a China-based Internet Protocol address and a Web-hosting service provider were the same ones used in a previous North Korean cyberattack.

It did not identify the suspected organization.

South Korea accuses North Korea of launching a series of cyberattacks in recent years, but the North has dismissed the allegations.

Last week, South Korean police said they believed North Korea was behind the recent leakage of the personal data of more than 10 million users of an online shopping site.

South Korea last year said North Korea has a 6,000-member cyberarmy dedicated to disrupting the South’s government and military.

The figure was a sharp increase from a 2013 South Korean estimate of 3,000 such specialists.

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