South Korea to launch national security TF after Kakao outage

By Dain Oh, The Readable
Oct. 18, 2022 10:56PM KST Updated Oct. 19, 2022 3:08PM KST

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered his team of chief secretaries on Monday to launch a task force dedicated to national security in response to the chaos which unplugged the nation for at least three days.

The task force will be led by the Office of National Security. Kim Sung-han, the National Security Adviser, will preside at upcoming meetings to inspect nationwide postures of cybersecurity.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is presiding at a meeting with his chief secretaries on Monday. Source: The Office of the President of South Korea

The task force will bring different ministries together, including the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of National Defense, the National Intelligence Service, and the offices of the prosecution and police service.

Below are the key facts of the Kakao outage.

1. KakaoTalk dominates the South Korean mobile message service market, holding 92% of the population as its users.

2. On October 15, a fire broke out at an SK C&C data center in Pangyo where Kakao's data is stored and managed. (The fire was put out in eight hours.)

3. All services which were tied to KakaoTalk did not work since the fire. The halted services include online banking and transportation services.

4. Hacking attempts, aimed to hack Kakao users, were discovered among the chaos. To read the original reporting, click here.

5. Shares of Kakao Corp have been plunging since the fire to their lowest valuation since May 2020.

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.