By Dain Oh, The Readable
Sep. 15, 2023 11:35PM GMT+9
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Hello! This is Dain Oh reporting from South Korea. This week, South Korea welcomed hundreds of security experts from all over the world, starting conversations on critical issues in national security, defense industry, and cybersecurity. The Readable listened to them in person and recorded significant statements in news articles. Apart from the conferences, a notable report was disclosed by South Korean lawmaker Kim Young-joo, regarding ransomware and the healthcare industry. You can find these articles in this briefing. Next week, I will be reporting from Washington DC, covering the Mandiant Worldwide Information Security Exchange (mWISE). Have a wonderful weekend!
1. Global thinkers discuss ways to penalize malicious cyber actors
Long criticized for its shortcomings in effectively tackling cyber threats, the cybersecurity industry is experiencing a paradigm shift. Leading thinkers in the field of security strategy are now broaching discussions about mechanisms to hold cyber criminals accountable, as cyberattacks increasingly pose a risk to international security.
“What we found is that norms are insufficient,” declared James Lewis, Senior Vice President of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Lewis was referring to the United Nations’ cyber norms, which outline 11 voluntary, non-binding rules for responsible state behavior in cyberspace. His comments came during his appearance at the 2023 International Conference on Building Global Cyberspace Peace Regime (GCPR), held in Seoul this past Wednesday. READ MORE
2. Top South Korean intelligence official stresses partnership in fighting cyber threats
On Tuesday, a high-ranking South Korean official emphasized the crucial need for allied nations to collaborate in the fight against malicious actors in cyberspace.
During his welcoming address at the 8th International Conference on Building Global Cyberspace Peace Regime (GCPR), Kim Kyou-hyun, the director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS), underscored the urgent necessity for creating an international framework. This would empower nations to collectively safeguard against emerging cyber threats. READ MORE
3. Defense industry calls for international cooperation as arms shortages worsen
In the wake of ammunition shortages triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, leaders in the global defense industry are finding common ground on present security threats. They emphasize that international cooperation is crucial for tackling these challenges effectively.
The Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA), South Korea’s premier national defense think tank, hosted its annual three-day Hongneung Defense Forum in Seoul this week. On the conference’s second day, September 14, experts from the defense sector issued a call to arms for allied nations, stressing the need for collaboration to navigate the escalating ammunition crisis.
“The keyword for the global defense industry is ‘time,’” declared Yoon Chang-moon, Director General of the International Cooperation Bureau at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), during a panel discussion centered on international defense industry cooperation. “The moment to address crises has arrived sooner than anticipated,” Yoon added, pointing to the glaring mismatch between demand and supply in ammunition production—a disparity that has been starkly exposed by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. READ MORE
4. South Korea, EU experts look into opportunities to cooperate in cyberspace
Experts from South Korea and the European Union convened on Friday to explore collaborative approaches for combating emerging cyber threats.
Cormac Callanan, the cybersecurity coordinator for Enhancing Security Cooperation In and With Asia (ESIWA), kicked off the discussion with a poignant quote that encapsulated the spirit of cyber cooperation. His remarks came during a special session of the Hongneung Defense Forum focused on South Korea-EU relations in the realm of cybersecurity.
Just as one would instinctively assist someone suffering a potential heart attack in front of them, the same principle should apply to countries supporting one another during a cybersecurity emergency. “If you are under an attack and you are actually suffering the consequences and you know it’s coming from a neighboring country, or even a distant country, when you speak with them and when you deal with them, you expect them to support you and try to resolve the crisis in an amicable, non-violent way,” noted Callanan. READ MORE
5. Ransomware plagued South Korean hospitals for the past three years
Ransomware has overwhelmingly dominated attacks against South Korean medical institutions, accounting for more than 90% of all cyber assaults on hospitals over the past three years.
In a press release issued on Thursday, South Korean lawmaker Kim Young-joo revealed that 74 healthcare centers have fallen victim to cyberattacks between February 2020 and July 2023. The disclosure is based on documents submitted by four government bodies: the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Education, the Korea Social Security Information Service (SSiS), and the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA). READ MORE
6. National security official visits UK to discuss upgrading their ties in cyberspace
A senior South Korean government official is in London this week, seeking to strengthen cyber collaboration between South Korea and the United Kingdom.
In a press release issued on Monday, South Korea’s presidential office disclosed that Lim Jong-deuk, the country’s second deputy national security adviser, will be in the UK from September 11 to 16. During his visit, Lim is slated to meet with top-level British officials across various sectors, including national security, defense, and foreign policy. The presidential office also revealed that Yun Oh-jun, an expert on cybersecurity policy serving under Lim, will accompany him on the trip. READ MORE
The description of the cover photo: Kim Kyou-hyun, the director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), is delivering his welcoming remarks at the International Conference on Building Global Cyberspace Peace Regime (GCPR) on September 12. Source: National Intelligence Service (NIS)
Dain Oh is a distinguished journalist based in South Korea, recognized for her exceptional contributions to the field. As the founder and editor-in-chief of The Readable, she has demonstrated her expertise in leading media outlets to success. Prior to establishing The Readable, Dain was a journalist for The Electronic Times, a prestigious IT newspaper in Korea. During her tenure, she extensively covered the cybersecurity industry, delivering groundbreaking reports. Her work included exclusive stories, such as the revelation of incident response information sharing by the National Intelligence Service. These accomplishments led to her receiving the Journalist of the Year Award in 2021 by the Korea Institute of Information Security and Cryptology, a well-deserved accolade bestowed upon her through a unanimous decision. Dain has been invited to speak at several global conferences, including the APEC Women in STEM Principles and Actions, which was funded by the U.S. State Department. Additionally, she is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association, further exhibiting her commitment to journalism.