October 04, 2018 12:48
Cyberattacks on the Unification Ministry have dramatically increased since 2015, potentially exposing confidential information about North Korea and North Korean defectors.
According to the ministry, hacking attempts on the ministry's websites and databases rose from 172 in 2015 to 336 in 2017 and 435 just between January and August this year. Some 147 of the attacks this year were clearly aimed at the database of North Korean defectors.
North Korea maintains a small army of hackers and may well be behind the attacks in an attempt to spy on defectors and harass their families back in the North.
In the last five years, 557 hacking attempts were made from IP addresses in South Korea, 451 in China, 183 in the U.S., 70 in Hong Kong, 49 in Russia, 42 in Bulgaria, 20 in the U.K., 17 in Germany, and 14 in Japan.
Mysteriously, while 41 attempts were made from IP addresses in Bulgaria in 2014, there has only one attempt from there since then.
The ministry claims none of the attacks did any damage. "As the Ministry of Unification holds security information on North Korea and defectors, we need comprehensive and detailed measures on these cyberattacks," said Minjoo Party lawmaker Park Byeong-seug.
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