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(LEAD) Cryptocurrency exchange head indicted for leaking military secrets to presumed N.K. spy

National 19:57 April 28, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES data leak results in paras 3-4)

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- The head of a cryptocurrency exchange has been indicted for allegedly colluding with a military officer and leaking military secrets, including login information for the military's command and control system, to a presumed North Korean agent in exchange for money, officials said Thursday.

The head of the exchange, surnamed Lee, was charged with allegedly violating the National Security Act after he was found to have made contact with the purported spy in July of last year and later helped him gather military secrets.

The North Korean hacker failed to obtain access to the Korean Joint Command and Control System, a confidential military network, according to the authorities.

But the North Korean acquired some images of the defense network website and military security guidelines that were captured and sent by the military officer.

According to police and prosecution officials, Lee, at the order of the purported spy, approached a 29-year-old military captain in August and promised to compensate the officer with cryptocurrency if he provided military secrets.

Lee allegedly sent the captain a spy camera disguised as a watch in January, which was brought into the officer's base, and a "Poison Tap" USB computer hacking device in March.

Authorities learned the captain provided Lee and the alleged spy with login information of the Korean Joint Command and Control System. Lee and the captain allegedly received cryptocurrency worth 700 million won (US$551,000) and 48 million won, respectively, as compensation.

The captain was also indicted by military prosecutors for allegedly violating the National Security Act. Police are also investigating further into the identity of the presumed North Korean spy.

The Korean National Police Agency in central Seoul (Yonhap)

The Korean National Police Agency in central Seoul (Yonhap)


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