Data Breach Leaks 1,000 North Korean Defectors' Details

Data Breach Leaks 1,000 North Korean Defectors' Details

North Korean hackers have in the past been accused of cyberattacks on South Korean state agencies and businesses.

September a year ago saw the news that an official from the MOU was under indictment on suspicion of selling the personal information of 48 defectors.

Some 997 North Korean defectors have now been informed that their names, birth dates and addresses have been leaked but it is not clear what impact this will have.

A North Korean defector surnamed Choi told CNN there was concern that someone working for the organization might have "purposefully leaked it".

Simon Choi, a security researcher who focuses on North Korea cyber attacks, told the BBC he believes a North Korea hacking group that targets defectors attempted to hack a Hana center past year. "The file was confirmed to have been leaked".

One of the most high profile hacks linked to North Korea in recent years targeted Sony's entertainment business in 2014 - wiping out massive amounts of data and leading to the online distribution of emails, and sensitive personal data.

"[Many of us] have family still living there", said North Korean Defector Park Kwang-il in an interview with RFA's Korean Service.

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Hackers steal North Korea defectors' data

Seoul has denied the allegation, saying its warship used an optical camera while rescuing a North Korean fishing boat in distress.

Repatriated North Koreans who have fled to China - where they are considered illegal aliens and often returned, whatever their asylum claims - may face "interrogation, torture, sexual abuse and forced labor", former North Korean officials have told Human Rights Watch.

The classified data was leaked via a personal computer.

Ministry officials said the breach occurred last month when an employee of the government agency Hanna Foundation opened an email with malware, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The Unification Ministry said that there is no further evidence of hacking attacks or data breaches.

The hack was carried out at the Hana Centre in the North Gyeongsang Province, which helps North Korean defectors settle in South Korea and become accustomed to its capitalist society.

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