Marines allegedly mishandled 800 soldiers’ private data

By Kuksung Nam, The Readable
Jun. 9, 2023 8:20PM GMT+9

The South Korean marines allegedly uploaded private information of 800 female personnel onto the government’s internal network and replaced the data after soldiers protested for it to be removed, according to the Marine Corps on Friday.

The Marine Corps stated that the sexual distress prevention and response center sent an official document to the Command of the Marine Corps and its military units on May 18, requesting that they identify the status of female personnel who have less than five years of experience.

The document was attached to a file that contained the data of approximately 800 personnel, including officers, noncommissioned officers, and civil military employees, and was uploaded onto the government’s internal network system with limited access. However, it was not restricted from being downloaded. The file contained information such as individuals’ names, affiliated branches, marital statuses, and recruitment processes.

According to the South Korean marines, the file was replaced after receiving the complaints of soldiers’ who later discovered the incident. “The file was inaccessible on May 23 and replaced on May 30,” said a spokesperson of the Marine Corps to The Readable. “We have currently found no evidence that this file was accessed by unauthorized personnel.”

In addition, in the words of the military, this incident happened by accident as the person in charge reported that they made a mistake while posting the file. The spokesperson explained that they could not reveal further details on the reasons behind this incident, as the military police are still investigating the case.

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.