Hackers have stolen the personal information of almost 1,000 North Korean defectors, the South Korean government revealed today.
Only information from one of the 25 defector support centers was stolen, officials said. The hack took place after an employee of a defector support center opened a malicious document he received via email on Monday, December 19, 2018.
The hacked support center is the one catering for North Korean defectors who have relocated in the North Gyeongsang province (Gyeongbuk, formerly Gyeongsangbuk-do).
According to a message posted on the support center’s website, the hackers made off with personal details such as names, dates of birth, and home addresses.
In a press release, the Ministry of Unification said hackers stole information on 997 North Korean defectors living in the North Gyeongsang province, except the city of Gyeongsan.
South Korea houses over 30,000 North Korean defectors.
The Ministry of Unification said it already notified the defectors who had their data stolen and is running a support desk where affected parties can call or visit for additional advice.
Authorities are still investigating the incident, and it is unclear if this was a mundane data theft, or if the North Korean government’s infamous hacker groups were behind the attack.
Most political analysts fear the worst; that the Pyongyang regime was behind the attack. Experts say the lives of the defectors and their families, both to the south and north the border, might now be in danger. Just like most communist countries, North Korea has often retaliated against defectors’ families in the past.
The North Korean government has historically engaged in hacking campaigns aimed at unmasking and tracking the lives and whereabouts of defectors.
In 2013, North Korean state-sponsored hackers breached several websites of associations ran by or for North Korean defectors.
In 2016, a North Korean hacking group known as FreeMilk also targeted North Korean defectors hiding in the UK, and in 2018, a new North Korean hacker group tracked APT37 also targeted defectors living in South Korea.
Related cybersecurity coverage:
Key Criteria for Evaluating Unified Endpoint Management
Endpoint management is one of the most significant challenges in the enterprise today. An increasingly large percentage of our workforce is distributed and demands flexibility to work wherever they want, whenever they want. We must respond by giving them access to the services they require to do their jobs effectively. The alternative is that we, as a business, will suffer, lose good people, and become less competitive. However, we must achieve this essential access while maintaining security and control of our business’s data assets.
An appropriate endpoint management strategy is key to addressing these issues. Our approach should be holistic and unified, bringing together control of devices, management of applications, security of data, and access controls.
Unified endpoint management (UEM) is the approach to meeting this challenge. It has evolved from traditionally disparate solutions for endpoint management, application delivery, and security into a single platform. This single platform delivers a consistent end-user experience across all devices, applications, and locations while maintaining security and control of data assets. The leading solutions allow us to enroll devices easily into our control, provide support, and ensure constituency and compliance while managing access to our applications and data.
This GigaOM Key Criteria Report describes UEM solutions and identifies key criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting such a solution. The corresponding GigaOm Radar Report identifies vendors and products that excel in this sector. Together, these reports give decision-makers an overview of the market to help them evaluate existing platforms and decide where to invest.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.
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Data Storage for Ever Changing Business Needs
Join GigaOm analyst Enrico Signoretti and CTERA CTO Aron Brand in this one-hour live webinar as they explore file storage trends and dynamics through the lens of IT infrastructure modernization projects.
The file and cloud experts will discuss the limitations of traditional NAS architectures in today’s corporate environments and how organizations are implementing distributed cloud file storage to solve remote collaboration, ransomware protection, and unstructured data growth challenges.
Signoretti and Brand will also examine the recently published GigaOm Radar for Distributed Cloud File Storage, in which CTERA was named the leader. They will review the report’s key criteria and evaluation metrics for choosing a distributed cloud file storage platform, helping IT leaders to understand which vendors are most aligned to their needs today as well as 12-18 months down the road.
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High Performance Application Security Testing – Cloud WAF Security Platforms
This free 1-hour webinar from GigaOm Research features analyst Jake Dolezal and will focus on comparing Web Application Firewall (WAF) security platforms in an enterprise with high performance needs.
This webinar will discuss web application security mechanisms deployed in the cloud. The cloud enables enterprises to differentiate and innovate with microservices at a rapid pace. However, the cloud is just as vulnerable, if not more so, to attacks and breaches as on-premises APIs and apps are. Our focus is specifically on approaches to securing apps, APIs, and microservices that are tuned for high performance and availability. We define “high performance” as companies that experience workloads of more than 1,000 transactions per second (tps) and require a maximum latency below 30 milliseconds across the landscape.
In this webinar, we will reveal the performance tests of security mechanisms on NGINX, AWS, and Azure, specifically: ModSecurity, NGINX App Protect WAF, AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF), and Azure WAF.
Register now to join GigaOm and NGINX for this free expert webinar.
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