S. Korea probes hacking of defense officials’ emails

SEOUL, South Korea has launched a joint military-police probe into a recent hacking incident involving defense officials’ personal emails, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

The move came after police recently began investigating possible North Korean involvement over breaches of the accounts of an unspecified number of senior defense ministry officials and generals, according to investigative authorities.

Jeon Ha-kyou, the ministry’s spokesperson, said a joint investigation was under way, while noting that the accounts in question were unrelated to their work emails connected to military servers.

“We have notified each individual to prevent further damage and have completed security measures for email accounts,” Jeon told a regular briefing. “The ministry … is conducting a joint investigation by forming a military-police consultative body.”

When asked about the size of the breach, Jeon said he understood the incident involved many people, without giving further details.

The joint investigation came a
s the police are also said to be investigating a hacking incident involving the personal emails of some 100 South Koreans, including national security experts.

North Korea is known to stage cyberattacks against South Korean diplomats, government and military officials, and national security experts by infiltrating their email accounts.

Last month, the National Police Agency said three notorious North Korean hacking groups — Lazarus, Andariel and Kimsuky — infiltrated about 10 South Korean defense firms over the past 1 1/2 years in a concerted attempt to steal defense technologies.

The North’s military is known to be bolstering its cyber capabilities, operating some 6,800 cyber warfare personnel, according to South Korea’s Defense White Paper.

Source: Yonhap News Agency