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North Korea attempts to hack BOK several times this year

North Korea attempts to hack BOK several times this year

Posted September. 26, 2017 08:04,   

Updated September. 26, 2017 08:30


North Korea has reportedly attempted to breach the Bank of Korea several times this year.

According to data submitted on Monday by the central bank to Shim Jae-chul, a Liberty Korea Party lawmaker and a member of National Assembly's Financial Committee, the number of hacking threats to the Bank of Korea has soared to 116 for the first eight months of this year, from 38 in 2015 and 44 in 2016. Lawmaker Shim said the government confirmed that among those 116 hacking threats, about seven to eight cases were from North Korea.

The government has been making database of North Korea's hacking techniques and similar techniques have been found in the attacks done to the central bank. The most common hacking methods of North Korea are spear phishing that targets specific individuals and "Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)," in which an unauthorized person gains access to a network and remains there undetected for a long period of time.

North Korea is known to target financial institutions for the purposes of earning foreign currency and disrupting financial markets, according to security industry sources. In February last year, North Korea hacked into SWIFT, the global banking communications service, and illegally transferred 51 million U.S. dollars from the central bank of Bangladesh. In South Korea, the Bank of Korea and the Export-Import Bank of Korea are using the SWIFT network.

"The Internet and the SWIFT network are completely separated and being managed safely," an official from the central bank said.

Hoon-Sang Park tigermask@donga.com