Hackers steal North Korea defectors' data


The personal information of almost 1,000 North Koreans who defected to South Korea has been leaked after unknown hackers got access to a resettlement agency's database, the South Korean Unification Ministry said on Friday.

"We deeply apologize to the many escapees from North Korea who have been affected by the incident, and will take measures to ensure that private information is protected", the ministry says in a statement.

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters earlier Friday that he chose to release the footage and data to let the people in and outside Japan know that the Japanese Self-Defense Force operated appropriately.

North Korea defector hack: Personal data of almost 1,000 leaked
Mystery hacker steals data on 1,000 North Korean defectors in South

The South Korean government has not accused North Korea of being behind the attack.

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The Defense Ministry says its analysis of the data shows the P-1 patrol aircraft belonging to Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) was targeted several times by the South Korean ship's fire-control system on December 20.

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About 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea, mostly travelling via China, since the end of the Korean War in the Fifties.

The hacking targeted a centre that is tasked with helping North Korean defectors settle in South Korea and get accustomed to its capitalist society.

An official of the Ministry of State Security told the lecture that the woman returned to the North because she missed "the warm embrace of the motherland" and that she had been forgiven for defecting. South Korean government data found that by the end of October, 206 North Korean defectors failed to obtain full state support after they missed the one-year deadline. As there had been marked improvement between the relationship of two Koreas, the two side had agreed in October to initiate reconnecting work on roads and railways, which had remained cut since the 1950-1953 Korean war.

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"[There is a North Korean hacking] group [that] mainly targets [the] North Korean defector community. we are aware that [this group] tried to hack a Hana centre a year ago", he said. "Me being a defector is not enough", she told Yonhap News in an interview recently.

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