The Korea Herald

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Korea seeks legislation against phishing attacks

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : April 19, 2023 - 16:31

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The Yoon administration has invited lawmakers to cooperate on legislation to minimize the impact of phishing attacks.

Phishing attacks attempt to dupe victims into providing information or money. At a meeting at the Government Complex Sejong, a pangovernmental entity on Wednesday discussed how to swiftly pass revision bills designed to prevent them.

Phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated. For example, an increasing number of phishing attacks first identify the bank account number of a random business owner -- information that is not usually considered sensitive here -- and wire a small amount of money to it.

The attacker would report the man as a phishing attacker to have the victim's bank account frozen. The attacker then demands money from the victim in return for withdrawing the complaint.

A bill was proposed in March that would mean individuals' accounts would not be frozen as long as the bank recognizes the individual as having no connection to cybercrime.

Also discussed at the meeting was another form of phishing attack that fools people into wiring money through mobile money transfer services that do not require bank account information. A bill to prevent this was proposed in April 2021.

The prevention of both require the revision of the Special Act on the Prevention of Loss Caused by Telecommunications-based Financial Fraud and Refund for Loss.

In Korea, phishing attackers' assets can be frozen instantly once reported. Koreans reported 543.8 billion won ($412.4 million) of losses through 21,832 phishing attacks in 2022, according to police. This was the first decline in 17 years.