[Weekend Briefing] AI and our new year to come

By Dain Oh, The Readable
Dec. 23, 2023 12:45AM GMT+9

“Weekend Briefing” is a weekly newsletter sent to subscribers of The Readable every Friday. Our journalists select important news items from the previous week on topics ranging from privacy to policy development in cybersecurity, all to help you stay abreast of the latest breaking issues. And not only is this provided free of cost to our subscribers, but the briefing contains new content exclusive to subscribers, such as our insightful industrial reports.

Hello! This is Dain Oh reporting from South Korea. I am writing the last newsletter of the year. Our team will take two weeks of winter break starting next week, not publishing any news articles from December 25 to January 5. The Readable has grown into a small-but-powerful news organization over the past 20 months thanks to you, our readers. I have shared some of the most important accomplishments we have made this year in a letter which was printed in the third edition of The Readable’s magazine. The editor’s note also includes our plan for 2024. You can read it in this briefing along with five other news articles covering various topics, from mobile security to artificial intelligence. Among these, two stories covered an international conference that took place in Japan. Sylvie Truong’s news article is another story that you do not want to miss. We will be back next year. Enjoy our stories, and we wish you a wonderful time with your loved ones!

1. Mobile security researchers assemble in Okinawa to empower cyber defense

Participants are sitting at a banquet table at the Seventh International Conference on Mobile Internet Security (MobiSec 2023) on December 20. Source: Sungshin Women’s University
Participants are asking questions at the Seventh International Conference on Mobile Internet Security (MobiSec 2023) which took place from December 19 to December 21. Source: Sungshin Women’s University

Okinawa, Japan ― MobiSec 2023 ― Academic exchange to advance cybersecurity is taking place in Okinawa, bringing together hundreds of researchers from 11 countries. Emerging issues, such as artificial intelligence and post quantum cryptography, in addition to mobile networks and applications, are included among the topics of the international discussion.

The Seventh International Conference on Mobile Internet Security, or “MobiSec 2023,” welcomed a total of 327 researchers who will take part in the event, both in-person at Novotel Naha Okinawa and online, from December 19 to December 21. During the three-day conference, 70 research papers will be presented along with 48 poster papers designed to promote the idea of sharing among the participants. Additionally, seven research outcomes will be revealed at a workshop.

Jung Souhwan, professor at Soong-sil University who has been selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at Mobisec 2023, and Goichiro Hanaoka, researcher at Cyber Physical Security Research Center (CPSEC) of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), representing academia from South Korea and Japan, respectively, delivered keynote speeches on December 19. Also, Koji Nakao, distinguished researcher at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), has been chosen to be the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s conference. READ MORE

2. Voice deepfakes may be hindered by real-time detection models

Okinawa, Japan ― Jung Souhwan, professor of electronic engineering at Soongsil University and head of South Korea’s AI security research center (AISRC), is delivering a keynote speech at the Seventh International Conference on Mobile Internet Security (MobiSec 2023) on December 19. Photo by Dain Oh, The Readable

Okinawa, Japan ― MobiSec 2023 ― While phone scammers are taking advantage of cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology to exploit their victims more adroitly, security researchers have joined forces to identify the weakest points in their deceitful process to create countermeasures against this latest threat.

Jung Souhwan, professor of electronic engineering at Soongsil University and head of South Korea’s AI security research center (AISRC), shared the latest research findings in detecting voice deepfakes at the Seventh International Conference on Mobile Internet Security (MobiSec 2023), which took place in Okinawa from December 19 to December 21.

Okinawa, Japan ― Jung Souhwan, professor of electronic engineering at Soongsil University and head of South Korea’s AI security research center (AISRC), is delivering a keynote speech at the Seventh International Conference on Mobile Internet Security (MobiSec 2023) on December 19. Source: Sungshin Women’s University

During his keynote speech, Jung explained how sophisticated voice deepfakes have become. For example, scammers cloned a Korean woman’s voice using AI and attempted to extort money from her mother last August, according to a local news outlet that had confirmed the AI-generated voice with the help of Jung. READ MORE

3. South Korea anticipates generative AI-powered attacks as prominent threat in 2024

Designed by Areum Hwang, The Readable

Generative artificial intelligence technology will be one of the biggest cyber threats next year as AI-powered tools could lower the entry barrier for inexperienced users to conduct cyberattacks, according to the South Korean government on Monday.

On December 18, the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) released a statement on prominent cyber threats targeting the country in 2024. The work was accomplished jointly with the cooperation of ten cybersecurity companies working alongside five South Korea-based firms, which included AhnLab, Genians, IGLOO Corporation, NSHC, and S2W.

The public and private sectors predicted that there will be an increase in possible hacking attempts from “ordinary people,” those who do not have expertise in the field of cybersecurity, by leveraging the latest generative AI technologies. Novice hackers could wield cutting-edge AI technology to create malicious code, detect security flaws, draft convincing phishing emails, and distort audio that could be realistic enough to fool intended victims. READ MORE

4. A list of healthcare cyberattacks that disrupted emergency services in 2023

Designed by Areum Hwang, The Readable

The healthcare sector has become a prime target for cyberattacks and the repercussions extend beyond data breaches. Ambulance diversions, emergency room closures, and surgery postponements resulting from cyberattacks are systemic vulnerabilities that could turn deadly.

The following list includes healthcare organizations and medical facilities that faced emergency service disruptions due to cyberattacks in 2023. Additionally, two other organizations are included due to the tactics that have been used against patients for extortion. Please note this is not a comprehensive list of all organizations attacked this year.

1) Liberty Hospital, USA

Date: December 19
Attack method: Undisclosed
Attacker: Undisclosed/Unknown
Facility Details: 1 hospital
Impact: On December 19, KSHB 41 TV news station reported emergency crews and the Kansas City Fire Department were transporting Liberty Hospital patients to other hospitals. Liberty is asking people to seek emergency care at other locations and are “unable to estimate how long the computer issue will last.” Patients with scheduled appointments are being contacted to discuss next steps. READ MORE

5. South Korea considers reorganizing presidential office to strengthen economic security

Designed by Areum Hwang, The Readable

South Korea’s presidential office is exploring the possible benefits of reorganizing its national security sector as a means to strengthen the nation’s ability to safeguard its economic security, according to a South Korean news outlet on Monday.

On December 18, TV Chosun, a South Korean local broadcast media outlet, exclusively reported the internal discussion within the Office of the President. The report stated that President Yoon Suk-yeol mentioned the necessity of restructuring the Office of National Security in the chief secretary’s meeting, held on December 4.

President Yoon further suggested during the meeting that such restructuring will necessitate creating a new position, that of a third deputy director, to handle unconventional national security issues, especially those related to the economy. According to the report, President Yoon emphasized the economy as one of the three pillars, alongside diplomacy and defense, that constitute national security in the modern era. READ MORE

6. Letter from the editor 😘💖

As a journalist who serves the public interest, I am delighted whenever someone tells me they have learned about cybersecurity issues through The Readable. Motivated by the belief that cybersecurity news should be accessible to and understandable by the general reader, I founded The Readable a year and a half ago, in May 2022, as an online platform. And soon after, in March of this year, we began publishing quarterly magazines. So far, our team has published more than 350 news articles, all written to the highest professional standards. Delivering quality journalism has, on numerous occasions, required us to skip meals and lose sleep, especially during our excursions around the globe. We would not change a thing, however. Indeed, all our efforts have been more than worthwhile because of you—our readers—whom we feel are always with us, edging us forward to find out more, to ask yet another penetrating question. After all, without you, all our efforts would be for nothing. READ MORE


The cover image of this article was designed by Areum Hwang. This article was copyedited by Arthur Gregory Willers.

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.