South Korea shuts down website aimed at hacking Kakao users

By Kuksung Nam, The Readable
Oct. 17, 2022 6:48PM KST

Authorities said on Monday that it had shut down a malicious website that was abusing the nation-wide confusion caused by a fire at a data center of South Korea’s popular mobile messenger company, Kakao Talk.

The Ministry of Science and ICT said in a press release that the ministry and the Korea Internet & Security Agency discovered an email which induced users to install malicious software, disguised as an official Kakao Talk install file. The ministry stated that it had immediately shut down the website that was spreading these emails.

However, authorities warned users that various cyberattacks could be deployed to extort users’ credentials amongst the disruption of Kakao service. On Saturday, a fire broke out at an SK C&C data center in Pangyo where Kakao’s data is stored and managed.

Kakao Inc. was launched in 2010 and gained success through its mobile messaging service. Currently, Kakao Talk is dominating the mobile message service market, holding 92% of the population as its users, according to the company’s second quarter earnings report this year. The company has expanded its empire into numerous fields such as electronic commerce, mobile banking, a ride hailing service, online gaming and more.

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

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.