Jan. 2, 2008
South Korean military security authorities have sounded an urgent alert
over China-based hackers persistently seeking access to computers
belonging to South Korean soldiers. Some soldiers' private information,
not military secrets, has already been leaked in such an attack.
While the South Korean military has its own closed computer network, it
also uses the open Internet for some activities. Authorities are trying
to find out if some soldiers and officers are carelessly keeping secret
military information on non-secure computers.
According to authorities on Tuesday, hackers believed to be operating
from China have been seeking access to South Korean soldiers' computers
by sending e-mails infected with hacking viruses to their private e-mail
An officer with the Defense Security Command said, "As Chinese hackers
have several times sought access to our soldiers' computers, we have
issued an alert to military units nationwide."
The hackers have reportedly attempted their cyberattacks after
downloading e-mail addresses of South Korean servicemembers listed on
portals or on websites of military units and veterans associations.
The e-mails are reportedly entitled "Current State of the North Korean
Army's Capabilities" in Korean to pique the curiosity of South Korean
soldiers and officers.
Military security authorities have traced the hackers to China, but have
so far failed to learn if they are ordinary Chinese citizens or
servicemembers in the Chinese military.
In 2000, China launched NET Force, a military unit tasked with
conducting mock exercises for launching cyberattacks and distributing
About one million civilian hackers, called "red hackers," are reportedly
engaged in various kinds of hacking activities in China.
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