Hackers claim to breach South Korean tax agency

By Kuksung Nam, The Readable
Mar. 30, 2023 7:48PM GMT+9

A ransomware hacking group known as LockBit claimed to have breached the South Korean tax agency’s website.

On Wednesday, the cybercriminals posted the National Tax Service’s domain name on its leak site. A leak site is a website on the dark web where hackers upload the data that they have stolen. LockBit did not disclose the content or the volume of the data that they have gained but stated that they will publish the files on April 1.

The ransomware hacking group LockBit posted the National Tax Service’s domain name on its dark web leak site on Wednesday. Source: The Readable

LockBit has been one of the most prolific hacking groups, uploading more than 70 companies’ data on average onto its leak site in the past three months, according to the cybersecurity company S2W. The hacking group has made financial gains through ransomware attacks, a method in which attackers hold the victim’s data hostage until the payment is made.

The National Tax Service (NTS) has acknowledged the hacking group’s post and is looking into the matter. However, they stressed that there will be no impact on taxpayers’ tax records.

“That data is managed through a sperate internal network which is disconnected from the internet,” said a spokesperson of NTS to The Readable. “There is zero possibility for the hackers to gain access to the tax information.” The spokesperson added that the hackers have not yet reached out to the agency for the payment for the stolen data.


The cover image of this article was designed by Areum Hwang.

Kuksung Nam is a journalist for The Readable. She has extensively traversed the globe to cover the latest stories on the cyber threat landscape and has been producing in-depth stories on security and privacy by engaging with industry giants, foreign government officials and experts. Before joining The Readable, Kuksung reported on politics for one of South Korea’s top-five local newspapers, The Kyeongin Ilbo. Her journalistic skills and reportage earned her the coveted Journalists Association of Korea award in 2021 for her essay detailing exclusive stories about the misconduct of a former government official. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, a testament to her linguistic capabilities.