North Korea hackers stole data from South Korea court computers: Police

SEOUL: North Korean hackers stole sensitive data, including individuals’ financial records, from a South Korean court computer network over two years, Seoul police said on Saturday (May 11).

The nuclear-armed North is known to operate an army of thousands of hackers operating both inside the largely isolated country and apparently overseas, and has been blamed for several major cyberattacks in the past.

South Korean national police said the hackers pilfered 1,014 gigabytes of data from a court’s computer system from January 2021 to February 2023, citing a joint investigation with the country’s spy agency and prosecutors.

The hackers’ malware transmitted stolen data, including South Koreans’ marriage and personal debt records, to “four domestic and four overseas servers” before it was finally “detected by antivirus software”, the national police said in a statement sent to AFP.

The data breach was found to be the work of a North Korean hacking outfit after authorities compared the detected malicious programmes, server payment details and IP addresses with those identified in earlier hacking cases attributed to Pyongyang.

Seoul authorities have retrieved and identified just 4.7 gigabytes of the stolen data, which stored 5,171 documents related to personal debt rehabilitation cases, including marriage certificates and statements about debt and reasons for insolvency, police said.

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