By Dain Oh and Kuksung Nam, The Readable
Feb. 17, 2023 8:45PM GMT+9 Updated Feb. 20, 2023 8:45PM GMT+9
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Hello! This is Dain Oh and Kuksung Nam in South Korea. This week, South Korean media outlets exhaustively covered one company, which went through consecutive security breaches during the past couple of months. The CEO at LG Uplus stood in front of the press, repeatedly apologizing for the recent incidents. For this week’s briefing, we have included the stories from the on-site conference at LG Uplus and two news articles on the REAIM summit, which was held in The Hague by the Netherlands and co-hosted by South Korea. You can also find one interview article below, regarding data protection policies around the Asia Pacific region. Have a great weekend!
1. LG Uplus invests $80M in cybersecurity after undergoing serial breaches
South Korean telecommunication conglomerate LG Uplus announced on Thursday that the company will increase its cybersecurity spending by three folds, which amounts to 100 billion won (approximately $80 million), acknowledging its failure to protect the personal information of customers and maintain the availability of networks against malicious actors.
Hwang Hyeon-sik, CEO at LG Uplus, held a press conference on February 16 to share the company’s security improvement plans with the public. He also apologized for the recent incidents that exposed the personal information of 290,000 customers to black hat hackers and interrupted the business operations that used the company’s network due to the collapse caused by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. To read the original reportings, click here.
2. [Perspective] Security equals trust
Being in the spotlight can bring pain and distress to the protagonist. On Thursday, almost all media outlets in South Korea gathered at one place in Seoul to listen to Hwang Hyeon-sik, CEO at LG Uplus, the telecommunication conglomerate which has been brought to the center of attention regarding the recent breaches that took place consecutively. During a speech, Hwang repeatedly lowered his head in front of the press to deliver his regrets to the firm’s customers for negligent security and to apologize for the recent security incidents.
Hwang expressed his remorse in a clear, determined manner. The corporate head referred to “the needs of constant and fortified defense” and “the investment in security personnel.” Among various strategies that he shared with the audience, including the pledge to invest 100 billion won ($80 million) in cybersecurity, the most notable aspect of his plan was his conclusion that the company needs to elevate its cybersecurity division to the office under the direct supervision of the CEO. Up until now, LG Uplus has incorporated its data protection duties within the company’s information technology department. Under the current decision, the chief information security officer (CISO) and the chief privacy officer (CPO) at LG Uplus will have the power to monitor and enhance the overarching security of their company, directly reporting to the CEO. To read the full story, click here.
3. Norway seizes $5.8M in crypto connected to North Korea
The Norwegian police announced on Thursday that it had seized almost 5.8 million dollars worth of cryptocurrency which had been allegedly stolen by a North Korean hacking group last year. This is one of the largest amounts of digital assets ever seized in the country, according to a statement from the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, known as Økokrim. They have also explained that the seizure was made during the course of their investigation of the digital attacks against the company Sky Mavis and its game Axie Infinity. North Korean hackers have been suspected of stealing millions of cryptocurrencies from the game last year.
4. [REAIM 2023] International community calls for responsible use of AI in military
Leaders and delegates around the world convened on Wednesday to discuss the challenges and risks of using artificial intelligence (AI) and the need to prioritize the accountable adaptation of emerging technologies in the military domain. The summit, which was the first of its kind, was held in The Hague and hosted by the Netherlands and co-hosted by South Korea. The Readable has highlighted some of the important statements by the presenters and discussants in the plenary opening session of the REAIM summit.
[Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Wopke Hoekstra, the minister of foreign affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
“Together, we must seek common ground on the definitions of these technologies, starting with two actually quite basic questions: What is AI? And who is responsible for its actions? We need to answer these questions before we can set common standards. And before we can allocate responsibilities and agree on tools that mitigate risks.” To read the full article, click here.
5. Western military expert says cyberattack was not a gamechanger in Russia-Ukraine war
Although there were high expectations that cyber will be the defining feature of future warfare, the reality that we have seen in the year-long war between Russia and Ukraine tells a different story, according to a western military expert on Wednesday.
“There have been well over two thousand cyberattacks mounted by the Russians during the course of 2022,” Lawrence Freedman, a professor emeritus of war studies at King’s College London, said in the plenary opening session of the REAIM summit. “[Cyberattacks] declined during the course of the war and (…) they haven’t really been that effective.” To read the original reporting, click here.
6. Increasing certainty in digital privacy: new research advances accountability-based approach
How long does it take for you to click the “I agree” button when asked to share your personal information while accessing online services? It does not take even a few seconds because we do it almost automatically. Although we have not read the service terms, we often take full responsibility for a potential breach of the data that we provided and face unexpected consequences following the mistreatment of personal data due to the devious agreement.
As an alternative to the consent-based privacy practices which have been proven ineffective for quite a while, a global non-profit organization has called for greater convergence and interoperability, guided by the principle of accountability, in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) data protection landscape. The organization’s months-long research has recently culminated in the publication of a comparative analysis report for the region. The Readable spoke with Josh Lee Kok Thong, Managing Director of the Future of Privacy Forum’s (FPF) APAC office, regarding the new publishment “Balancing Organizational Accountability and Privacy Self-management in Asia-Pacific.” The interview took place over a virtual meeting between Singapore and South Korea on January 19. To read the full article, click here.
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.
Kuksung Nam is a journalist for The Readable. She has extensively traversed the globe to cover the latest stories on the cyber threat landscape and has been producing in-depth stories on security and privacy by engaging with industry giants, foreign government officials and experts. Before joining The Readable, Kuksung reported on politics for one of South Korea’s top-five local newspapers, The Kyeongin Ilbo. Her journalistic skills and reportage earned her the coveted Journalists Association of Korea award in 2021 for her essay detailing exclusive stories about the misconduct of a former government official. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, a testament to her linguistic capabilities.