By Dain Oh, The Readable
Jun. 16, 2023 7:15PM GMT+9 Updated Jun. 16, 2023 7:32PM GMT+9
“Weekend Briefing” is a weekly newsletter that is sent to The Readable’s subscribers every Friday. Cybersecurity journalists for The Readable carefully select important news stories from the previous week and deliver them in a compact form. Topics encompass cybercrime, geopolitics, and privacy. There are no costs involved with a subscription, and some content, such as the monthly ransomware index report, is only available to those who subscribe to our newsletters.
Hello! This is Dain Oh in South Korea. This week, there has been some bizarre news related to cybersecurity. Scammers who disguised themselves as scam victims, with one of them portrayed himself as a white hat hacker, ripped off genuine scam victims who were already in tremendous pain. In addition, public officials who were supposed to be serving the public were discovered to have made list of women for personal reasons by using the human resource system at Seongnam City Hall, basically laying out single women employees like products on a wholesale supermarket shelf.
Kuksung Nam has delivered a few important news articles to our readers this week, including reporting on password regulations in South Korea and North Korean hacking attempts which utilized the largest search engine in the nation. Areum Hwang did an amazing job, showing what the hacking incident was about through a single image. I have also included several cybersecurity news stories with one announcement released by an official organization. Have a great weekend!
1. Intelligence agency expects to issue guidelines on AI this month
The South Korean intelligence agency is expected this month to release security guidelines for government officials related to the use of generative artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT.
According to a press release on Sunday, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) stated that the guidelines will provide knowledge on security threats linked to generative AI as well as secure ways to use the latest technologies. This set of standards will be distributed within this month to both public institutions and local governments. To read the full story, click here.
2. North Korean hackers mimic internet giant Naver to extract data
The South Korean intelligence agency issued a warning on Wednesday after discovering a duplicated fake website of the internet giant Naver created by North Korean state-sponsored hackers.
In a press release, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) stated that they discovered a phishing website nearly identical to Naver and attributed the hacking attempt to North Korean hackers. The cybercriminals created a fake website under a domain address “www.naverportal.com,” adding the word “portal” to the original address. South Koreans usually refer to the largest internet company’s webpage as Naver since it serves as the biggest search engine in the country. To read the full story, click here.
3. Swindlers ripped off romance scam victims, pretending to be ethical hackers
Two fraudsters who conspired to extort romance scam victims and succeeded in draining their targets of hundreds of thousands of dollars were indicted by South Korean law enforcement. It was revealed that one of the accused had disguised himself as a fellow victim when contacting genuine scam victims and introducing them to the other scammer whom he colluded with.
The Daegu District Prosecutors’ Office announced on Monday that they indicted two males who had committed fraud against romance scam victims. According to the prosecutors, the swindlers ripped off 23 victims, extorting 930,000,000 won (approximately 725,000 dollars), from April of last year to March of this year. To read the full story, click here.
4. City officials who listed 151 single women employees were sentenced to probation
Two public officials who made a list of single women employees at their organization lost an appeal, retaining the original judgement of the court which sentenced them to two and three years’ probation respectively. The defendants allegedly crafted this list to “entertain” a male official who was working as a secretary under the office of the mayor.
The Suwon District Court in South Korea rejected the appeal, filed by both the plaintiffs and defendants, based on the defendants’ violation of a privacy law by exposing the personal information of 151 women employees at the Seongnam City Hall, according to multiple local news outlets on Tuesday. To read the full story, click here.
5. South Korea plans to change six month password replacement rule
The South Korean government is looking into relaxing a rule that requires personal information handlers to change their password every six months.
In a press release on Monday, the Office for Government Policy Coordination Prime Minister’s Secretariat stated that the password replacement rule was included among ten regulations selected as part of a campaign to root out unnecessary and inconvenient government policies. The South Korean government held a public survey from March 21 to April 20, which received 932 suggestions about inadequate regulations, and underwent a reviewing process from experts and government officials. To read the full story, click here.
Former Samsung executive charged over alleged plans to build copycat chip factory in China [CNN]
North Korean Hackers Pocketed More Than $100M in Atomic Wallet Hack [Decrypt]
The cover image of this article was designed by Areum Hwang.
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.