[ISN] Gov't, Private Sectors Exposed to Chinese Hacker Attacks

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Tue Jul 13 2004 - 22:57:46 PDT


July 13,2004

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) confirmed Tuesday that major 
government organizations and private sectors have been exposed to 
hacker attacks that came from China and declared the attack a ˇ°threat 
to national security.ˇ± As a result, the NIS warned the public to 
protect their computers from hacking. 

The NIS also said that based on their judgment, the attack was not 
carried out by individuals but involved an organization of some size, 
they will collaborate with other government agencies such as the 
Foreign Ministry, Information and Communications Ministry, Defense 
Security Command, and National Police Agency to actively cope with it. 

Through official press releases, the NIS said that the two hacking 
programs, Peep Trojan and its variation Bacdoor Revacc, have broken 
into 211 computers in 10 government agencies. Among those computers 
attacked are 77 computers in the National Maritime Police Agency, 69 
at the National Assembly, 50 in the Korea Atomic Energy Research 
Institute, nine in the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis, one each 
in the Agency for Defense Development, Air Force Academy, and the 
Maritime Ministry, the Small and Medium Business Administration, the 
Unification Education Center, and the Korea Astronomy Observatory. 

In the National Assembly, information on 122 people, including former 
and incumbent lawmakers and parliamentary workers, were stolen due to 
negligent management. 

Sixty-seven computers at private companies, universities, and media 
firms have also been infiltrated and information of some reporters has 
been stolen, causing serious damage. 

The NIS said that so far a total of 278 computers have been affected 
by the hacker attack, which was confirmed to have been launched from 

Since the NIS announced on June 19 that a hacker attacked 116 
computers, including 64 computers in the public sector and 52 
computers in the private sector, an additional 162 computers have been 
attacked in some 20 days. 

The government assesses that since more and more organizations -- not 
only security-related institutes and major companies but also 
universities and media firms -- have been affected, there is high 
possibility that a lot of important government information may have 
been drained out. It has been learned, however, that the NIS has had 
difficulty in assessing the amount of information stolen due to the 
lack of cooperation of related government agencies and technological 

The NIS said, ˇ°We think that the hacker attack would have a serious 
effect on national security. Thus, the entire public should be on an 
alert and strengthen their own computer security to prevent important 
national data and secret industrial data from being stolen.ˇ± In 
particular, because it was confirmed that the attack was launched from 
China, the NIS has asked China to cooperate with investigations 
through the Foreign Ministry while the Police Agency is trying to 
carry out joint investigations with Interpol and Chinese police to 
crack down on hacker groups. 

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