International

North Korea Suspected In Hacking Of South Koreans

Hackers stole the information of close to 1,000 North Korean settlers who fled to South Korea, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Information about the breach was released by Seoul officials on Friday (Dec. 28), and the attack was perpetrated on a government-funded resettlement agency. The hackers stole addresses, names and birth information.

Experts think North Korea is responsible for the attack, and say that South Korea is the target of about 1.5 million hacking attempts a day, which comes to 17 every second.

Many North Koreans — about 32,000 — are estimated to have fled to the country since the Korean War in the ‘50s. That number has shrunk in recent years, especially since North Korea treats departure to the south as treason.

When citizens of the north are caught trying to escape, they’re often sentenced to years of hard labor or financial penalties. North Korean authorities are known to seize homes of relatives after someone tries to leave without permission.

Kang Chol-hwan, a native North Korean who leads a human-rights organization focused on the North, said the work is probably from North Korean security officials.

“Who would need such information?” Kang said. “Authorities trying to confirm whether people reported missing or dead are really in fact missing or dead.”

The attack happened through malware. Ministry officials in the south said someone from The Hana Foundation, which has about 25 offices, didn’t follow set rules to protect the settlers. The information is supposed to be kept on computers that aren’t connected to the internet.

McAfee researchers said North Korea tries to trick people into downloading malicious software by sending links in emails and hiding malware in apps on the Google Play store.

McAfee said the culprits “are familiar with South Korea and appear to want to spy on North Korean defectors, and on groups and individuals who help defectors.”

——————————

NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

TRENDING RIGHT NOW