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Nearly 3,400 hacking attempts against foreign ministry detected this year: data

All News 08:24 October 06, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Yonhap) -- Nearly 3,400 hacking attempts to steal confidential diplomatic information from South Korea's foreign ministry have been detected this year, government data showed Tuesday, triggering calls for stronger measures to block cyber incursions.

According to the data Rep. Lee Tae-kyu of the minor opposition People's Party obtained from the ministry for a parliamentary audit, 3,399 hacking attempts targeting the ministry and its overseas missions had been detected as of end-August.

A majority of the IP addresses used for this year's attacks were traced to areas in China and the United States, but it is hard to identify their exact origins given that hackers use various methods to conceal their identities.

"As the foreign ministry and its overseas missions have more sensitive information than other ministries, the government should craft measures to prevent the loss of state secrets due to cyberattacks, including hackings," Lee said.

The number of hacking attempts against the ministry, which stood at 4,660 in 2016, jumped to 9,394 in 2017, then declined to 4,552 in 2018 and slightly rose to 4,751 last year.

The upsurge in 2017 came as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang heightened following the North's military saber-rattling, with relations between Seoul and Beijing deteriorating due to the installation of a U.S. anti-missile system on South Korean soil.


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