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(EDITORIAL from Korea JoongAng Daily on April 8)

All Headlines 07:13 April 08, 2016

Shame on the government

The Central Government Complex in Seoul, which should be most rigidly protected and guarded, became an easy target for a university student to freely enter and even crack into the main computer to change the score on his state government job examination.

The 26-year-old man roamed around the complex multiple times in late March with identity cards he had stolen from government officials to commit illegal acts. He tried to steal a copy of the test for government jobs for Grade 7 positions and hacked into the personal computer of a government official in charge of the test in order to change his score and add his name to the list of those that passed the exam.

We are appalled to discover how lax the security was in a government building complex in the capital city, and how undisciplined government officials are. If a student can so easily violate a government building, just imagine how much more accessible things must be for terrorists or spies.

The student entered the complex when President Park Geun-hye ordered heightened security across the nation following North Korea’s testing of ballistic missiles. It appears that bureaucrats had paid little heed to the presidential command. The complex is home to the Ministry of Interior. If the government cannot even defend its own home, how can it be relied upon to defend the nation?

The government should act fast and mend this fence. It should learn its lesson from this incident. It should clarify what went wrong and announce measures to restore discipline and confidence in security.

It must, of course, also fix and upgrade its computer and digital security system. This will require outside experts if the government cannot do the work on its own. Finally, it should punish the people in charge and raise security alertness among bureaucrats. The people shouldn’t have to go on worrying about the security of their nation.
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