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[ISN] Alert Issued for Chinese Cyberattacks


Jan. 2, 2008 

South Korean military security authorities have sounded an urgent alert 
over China-based hackers persistently seeking access to computers 
belonging to South Korean soldiers. Some soldiers' private information, 
not military secrets, has already been leaked in such an attack.

While the South Korean military has its own closed computer network, it 
also uses the open Internet for some activities. Authorities are trying 
to find out if some soldiers and officers are carelessly keeping secret 
military information on non-secure computers.

According to authorities on Tuesday, hackers believed to be operating 
from China have been seeking access to South Korean soldiers' computers 
by sending e-mails infected with hacking viruses to their private e-mail 

An officer with the Defense Security Command said, "As Chinese hackers 
have several times sought access to our soldiers' computers, we have 
issued an alert to military units nationwide."

The hackers have reportedly attempted their cyberattacks after 
downloading e-mail addresses of South Korean servicemembers listed on 
portals or on websites of military units and veterans associations.

The e-mails are reportedly entitled "Current State of the North Korean 
Army's Capabilities" in Korean to pique the curiosity of South Korean 
soldiers and officers.

Military security authorities have traced the hackers to China, but have 
so far failed to learn if they are ordinary Chinese citizens or 
servicemembers in the Chinese military.

In 2000, China launched NET Force, a military unit tasked with 
conducting mock exercises for launching cyberattacks and distributing 
harassing information.

About one million civilian hackers, called "red hackers," are reportedly 
engaged in various kinds of hacking activities in China.

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