North Korean escapees at risk of alleged North Korean state hackers


A November 2018 breach of a government-funded resettlement agency's database in South Korea allowed hackers, believed to be North Korean state security officials, to copy the personal information belonging to 997 North Koreans living in South Korea. Escaping to South Korea is considered an act of treason in North Korea, and those who leave North Korea without permission may be sentenced to prison or hard labour while their families are penalised financially. Previous attempts to attack escapees include phishing campaigns intended to get them to download malicious apps. This attack appears to have been caused by an employee of the Hana Foundation who had not followed the foundation's rules that data on people who have left North Korea must be kept encrypted and stored on computers without internet access.
Writer: Andrew Jeong
Publication: Wall Street Journal

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