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Concern mounts over security of military PCs amid hacking attacks

Concern mounts over security of military PCs amid hacking attacks

Posted March. 20, 2020 07:41,   

Updated March. 20, 2020 07:41


Operational problems occurred including temporary freezing of TACS, a core security program of the PCs used by the South Korean military, it has been revealed. Experts raise concern that the project to construct the PC security management system, which followed the 2016 defense network hacking incident, might not have been conducted sloppily.

The South Korean Defense Ministry operated the TACS on all military PCs for about two months since it set up the security program in December last year, according to military officials on Thursday, The TACS program has integrated functions from individual security programs.

After starting operation of the system, however, civil complaints were filed en masse in all branches of the military. That is, the PC suddenly crashed sometimes or the display changed to a “blue screen.” In addition, there was a situation where documents were deleted or the PC would not allow log-in at all. The problem is that if the security program is not activated, there is a strong chance that military information could be leaked through hacking attacks by North Korea and other hackers.

Earlier, the South Korean Defense Ministry concluded that the hacking attack on the military Internet network and intranet network (Defense Network) in September 2016 was an act committed by Pyongyang. The project to construct the PC security management system was conducted as part of countermeasures to the attack, but problems have occurred in this system as well.

The South Korean military authorities reportedly said abnormal incompatibility with security programs may have occurred after the military upgraded the operating system (OS) from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Issue has been also raised about the procedure through which the security management system was introduced. Company A, in responsible for the development of the system, was eval‎uated through a single review process, which combined development eval‎uation and operation eval‎uation as one. Typically, these two eval‎uations are made separately for software development.

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com