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Hacked lawmaker’s email sent to defense agencies: report

A South Korean lawmaker’s email account had been hacked by an unidentified group as an alleged attempt to steal classified information from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, a local newspaper reported.

According to Donga Ilbo on Tuesday, an unidentified group stole the identity of Rep. Baek Seung-joo of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and sent an email to the JCS, DAPA and Korea Institute for Defense Analysis, among others.

The email was reported to have been sent on Oct. 8 when Baek reviewed the parliamentary process of approving the nomination of JCS Chairman Gen. Park Han-ki. Baek is a member of the National Assembly’s Defense Committee. 

Rep. Baek Seung-joo. Yonhap
Rep. Baek Seung-joo. Yonhap

The attack is suspected to have coincided with the flurry of diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula. On Oct. 7, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with President Moon Jae-in to brief him about his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang.

While it has not been confirmed whether North Korea was involved in the attack, Baek said the government should promptly figure out who was behind the attack and take measures to prevent cyberattacks.

“While there is a growing number of cyberattacks attempting to steal intelligence on the government’s military and foreign policies, the government’s response appears inadequate,” said Baek.