Seoul accuses Pyongyang of hacking emails

Seoul, Aug 1 (IANS) South Korea’s Supreme Prosecutors’ Office on Monday accused North Korean hackers of trying to access the emails of some 90 senior government officials, security agents, experts and reporters.

Between January and June, the hackers used a technique known as ‘spear phishing’, which involves sending false emails from a source known to the receiver, the office said in a statement.

The victims of the cyber-attack were senior officials from the ministries of foreign affairs, defence and unification, as well as reporters related to the ministries in Seoul, and several researchers specialised in North Korean affairs, EFE news agency reported citing the statement as saying.

Although they were not always successful, the hackers managed to obtain 56 email address passwords, according to the office, and the South Korean government has opened an investigation to determine whether any state secrets were compromised.

In recent years, both government and private institutions in South Korea have suffered several types of cyber-attacks, all of which Seoul has attributed to Pyongyang.

Last week, the South Korean police blamed the Kim Jong-un regime for a cyber-attack on Interpark, a major online retail firm, which resulted in the data leak of some 10 million users.

North Korea has always denied any involvement in such crimes and considers the accusations as Seoul’s strategy to hide security lapses and spread a negative image of the Communist country.



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