By Dain Oh and Kuksung Nam, The Readable
May 20, 2022 11:42PM KST
We picked five stories for you. Have a great weekend!
1. Reporters Won a Victory Over Mandatory App Download
Yoon Suk-yeol, the newly elected president of South Korea, ordered his presidential office not to coerce reporters into downloading a security application last Tuesday. It was a victory for reporters who argued that the app could be misused. The app is designed to control its users’ actions such as taking photos, recording, and tethering once it is downloaded onto a phone. The controversy surrounding this app arose when the Presidential Security Service obligated reporters to download it whenever they entered the building where the presidential office is located. Yoon also decided to allow reporters to bring their iPhones into the building.
2. Terra’s Luna Crypto Crash Leads to Lawsuit in South Korea
The creator of the cryptocurrency Luna and its associated stablecoin TerraUSD is facing a lawsuit in South Korea. This is the first legal action taken by investors in South Korea after the Luna crypto crash that occurred last week. On Thursday, five investors filed a fraud complaint against the company Terraform Labs and its founder Do Kwon, a 30-year-old South Korean, along with the co-founder Daniel Shin. According to the investors’ lawyer, the investors lost 1.4 billion won in total, with one individual losing approximately 500 million won during the market-wide meltdown.
3. South Korea Presses Charges Against Five Individuals for Assisting North Korean Hackers
South Korean prosecutors have arrested three individuals on the charge of assisting North Korean spy agents in their attempt to hack a local bank eleven years ago. Two other individuals are also being accused of the same crime, according to a statement released to the press on Tuesday. The prosecutors suspect that they had taken orders from the North Korean spy agents in the Chinese city of Dandong during June and July of 2011. The suspects are also facing charges of providing confidential information, such as the local bank’s IP, to North Korean spy agents.
4. Samsung Fights Voice Phishing With a New Security Solution
Samsung Electronics announced that the company will protect its Galaxy users from voice phishing by introducing a new security solution on Wednesday. The solution detects the malicious code of applications which were not downloaded through the official app stores. It blocks applications which have previously been confirmed to be voice phishing tools and notifies users if the source of an application is unclear. “Malicious apps for voice phishing are evolving as an extortion tool of personal information and phone hijacking,” Seungwon Shin, Head of Security at Samsung’s Mobile Communications Division, said in a press release. The solution will be applied to Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 through firmware updates by next month, and later to the entire Galaxy series.
5. South Korean Companies Form the Korea Anti-Ransomware Alliance (KARA)
Due to the soaring rates of ransomware infections over the past several years, cooperation between cybersecurity companies has emerged as a major topic in South Korea. SK shieldus, one of the largest cybersecurity companies in the nation, recently organized an alliance with seven other businesses, including Trend Micro, Mandiant, and Veritas. The eight companies in the Korea Anti-Ransomware Alliance (KARA) held an online seminar on Thursday to discuss ransomware trends, such as ransomware as a service (RaaS), and to share information about how to defend against ransomware attacks.
The cover image of this article was designed by Areum Hwang.
Dain Oh is an award-winning cybersecurity journalist based in South Korea and the founding editor-in-chief of The Readable by S2W. Before joining S2W, she worked as a reporter for The Electronic Times, the top IT newspaper in Korea, covering the cybersecurity industry on an in-depth level. She reported numerous exclusive stories, and her work related to the National Intelligence Service led to her being honored with the Journalist of the Year Award in 2021 by the Korea Institute of Information Security and Cryptology in a unanimous decision. She was also the first journalist to report on the hacking of vulnerable wallpads in South Korean apartments, which later became a nation-wide issue.
Kuksung Nam is a cybersecurity journalist for The Readable. She covers cybersecurity issues in South Korea, including the public and private sectors. Prior to joining The Readable, she worked as a political reporter for one of the top-five local newspapers in South Korea, The Kyeongin Ilbo, where she reported several exclusive stories regarding the misconduct of local government officials. She is currently focused on issues related to anti-fraud, as well as threats and crimes in cyberspace. She is a Korean native who is fluent in English and French, and she is interested in delivering the news to a global audience.