By Dain Oh, The Readable
Sep. 8, 2023 10:05PM GMT+9
“Weekend Briefing” is a weekly newsletter that is sent to The Readable’s subscribers every Friday. Journalists for The Readable select important news stories from the previous week. Topics encompass privacy, cybercrime, and policy development in cybersecurity. There are no costs involved with a subscription, and some content, such as industrial reports, is only available to those who subscribe to our newsletters.
Hello! This is Dain Oh reporting from South Korea. There were a few major announcements made by the South Korean government this week, regarding cybersecurity investments and privacy laws. In addition, the latest news articles on cybercrime and North Korean hackers are included in this briefing. Furthermore, you can find news articles on some of the most cutting-edge researches from the World Conference on Information Security Applications (WISA) which was held in South Korea last month. With our stories, have a wonderful weekend!
1. South Korea will invest $100M in fostering a cybersecurity unicorn
The South Korean government is making strides to boost the country’s standing in the global cybersecurity landscape, announcing plans to nurture its first high-value cybersecurity startup.
“Starting next year through 2027, we’ll allocate 130 billion won ($97 million) to fund the initiative,” said Hong Jin-bae, the deputy minister of the Office of Network Policy at the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), in a Tuesday press briefing. “The goal of this fund is to create South Korea’s first cybersecurity unicorn.” READ MORE
2. New privacy law enacted to better protect South Koreans in life-threatening situations
The South Korean privacy regulator has announced that updated privacy laws will come into effect next week, addressing contentious issues like data sharing in life-threatening situations.
In a press statement released on Tuesday, the Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) confirmed that amendments to the Personal Information Protection Act and associated legislation have received final approval. The green light came during a cabinet meeting held on September 5, officially sanctioning the legal changes. READ MORE
3. IT worker arrested for selling fake online accounts impersonating South Korean police
South Korean authorities announced on Wednesday the arrest of an IT professional, detained on September 1, who faces charges of creating and selling fraudulent accounts used to impersonate law enforcement officials online.
In a press release, the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) disclosed that the suspect, a man in his mid-thirties, created approximately 100 counterfeit accounts between late June and early August on the popular community platform named “Blind.” Known as a service where professionals can anonymously discuss their workplaces, Blind has built customer trust around its unique sign-in procedure, which requires users to verify their employment status to gain access to company-specific channels. READ MORE
4. North Korean hackers target Russian defense industry, Microsoft reveals
According to cybersecurity experts based in the United States, North Korean hackers have launched cyberattacks against Russia’s defense sector, successfully infiltrating the country’s aerospace institute earlier this year.
In a report released on Thursday, Microsoft’s Threat Analysis Center (MTAC) revealed that North Korean state-sponsored hackers successfully infiltrated a Russian aerospace research institute last March. The cybercriminals also compromised a device belonging to a Russian university. During the same timeframe, these rogue actors aimed their sights at government officials, dispatching phishing emails to Russian diplomats. READ MORE
5. Researchers combine public and consortium blockchains to fortify smart infrastructure
In a breakthrough that aims to address growing privacy concerns surrounding smart infrastructure, a team of researchers has unveiled a novel approach to improve the quality of mobile crowdsensing data. By integrating dual blockchains into the latest model, the researchers anticipate not only bolstering the security of citizens’ personal information but also weeding out untrustworthy users during the mobile sensing data collection process.
Lee Soojin, a researcher in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Hanyang University, showcased her team’s groundbreaking work at the 24th World Conference on Information Security Applications (WISA), held on August 23 in South Korea. Collaborating with Lee on this research were Zhang Yan, Bai Yuhao, Li Ming, and Seo Seung-Hyun. READ MORE
6. Zero trust framework is still vulnerable with existing VPN, security researchers disclose
As the shift toward a zero trust security model gains momentum in the United States and beyond, South Korean researchers have found that even existing network safeguards, like virtual private networks (VPNs), still pose a security risk to this emerging framework.
In a series of experiments using configurations of current VPN technology, the researchers successfully breached a zero trust security environment, gaining administrative access that enabled them to remotely infiltrate systems. READ MORE
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.