Security experts in Seoul detect new cyber attack with malicious emails

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2019-01-04 13:38 Updated : 2019-01-04 13:38
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SEOUL -- Security experts detected a cyber attack with malicious emails disguised as a South Korean government document assessing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's New Year message. It is unclear whether North Korean hackers were behind the attack spotted on Wednesday.

Experts in ESTsecurity, a Seoul-based online security firm, said that the attack used spear phishing, the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information.

The attack is probably aimed at stealing personal information or installing an additional malicious code for remote control, they said, adding that attackers were trying to bypass the detection of security solutions while exploiting portal e-mail services as a way to collect information from infected personal computers.

Security experts in Seoul have detected similar attacks, which appeared to have been launched by North Korean hackers. In November last year, ESTsecurity spotted a new case of cyber attacks targeting English speaking countries by using a method similar to that of Lazarus, a hacking group suspected of being tied to North Korea.