Foreign Ministry Clings to Buggy Windows Software

All computers used by the Foreign Ministry and overseas missions still use the outdated Windows XP program, which has become even more vulnerable to hacking attacks with the cessation of security updates from Microsoft.

The Foreign Ministry does not intend to change the operating systems of official computers before next year, which means sensitive information could be vulnerable to hacking attacks until then.

Woo Sang-ho, a lawmaker with the New Politics Alliance for Democracy on Wednesday passed materials to the Chosun Ilbo on Thursday which reveals that 1,500 computers at the Foreign Ministry and 3,000 in use at overseas missions use the buggy old OS.

Microsoft ended security updates on Tuesday since the OS has long been superseded.

A Foreign Ministry official claimed official computers "are connected by an internal network and are safe against hacking attacks." But Kim Seung-joo at Korea University pointed out that Stuxnet, a malicious code that attacked Iran's nuclear facilities, infiltrated internal networks that are not connected to the Internet and ended up crippling them.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 10, 2014 12:07 KST