War Memorial of Korea was hacked and down for a week

By Dain Oh, The Readable
Sep. 21, 2022 8:50PM KST

The War Memorial of Korea was allegedly attacked by an unspecified hacker on September 7 and frozen for a week, reported multiple local news outlets in South Korea.

According to the Chosun Ilbo, which first reported the hacking incident, the computer network of the War Memorial of Korea was frozen because of a cyber-attack, which led to the leaking of some of its sensitive information. Among the leaked information, historical material related to the Korean War and the director's personal information were included.

Lee Sang-chul, director of the War Memorial of Korea, is a military expert with specialized knowledge of North Korea who was named as the first vice chief of the National Security Office in May 2017 and served at the position until February 2019. Prior to this role, Lee was sent as a South Korean representative to military talks between the two Koreas under the Lee Myung-bak administration. Lee Sang-chul was appointed as the director for the War Memorial of Korea in December 2019.

The War Memorial of Korea is operated by the Ministry of Defense. Soon after a hacking attempt was made against the institution, the South Korean Cyber Command reportedly acknowledged the hacking attempts and started responding. However, damage to servers was so significant that the Cyber Command could not recover them for at least a week, a person who is familiar with this issue told a local reporter.

Hacking attempts targeting the South Korean military have been increasing every year. Particularly in April, two South Koreans were arrested for handing over military secrets to a person who is believed to be a North Korean spy, with one of the accused being an active-duty army officer. It is said that the officer received 48 million won (approximately $38,000) worth of Bitcoin from the North Korean spy.


The cover image of this article was designed by Sangseon Kim

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.