back to article Nearly everyone in SOUTH KOREA HACKED IN ONE GO

Personal information on as many as 35 million users of a South Korean social network site may have been exposed as the result of what has been described as the country's biggest ever hack attack. Local authorities were quick to blame hack attacks against the Cyworld social networking website and the Nate web portal – both of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Hmm, interesting...

    This story has the word MAY in it alot....

    However when El-Reg wrote about Sony, they forgot to add the MAY word, and implied everything happened at they had unequivocal proof that everyones details had definately been taken..

    Seems depending on who you are writing about, you can spin things however you want....

  2. adnim

    Am I missing something?

    "It's now becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between attacks on military, communications, financial, civilian or critical infrastructure targets,"

    Seems to me if an attempted hack against military infrastructure is detected then it constitutes an attack on a military target. If an attempted hack against financial infrastructure is detected then it constitutes an attack on a financial target. If an attempted hack against....

    I suppose many different systems could be targeted at once to hide a real attack amongst the noise. However, common sense tells me it would be wise to make any hack as quiet and as undetectable as possible. Unless of course the motive is to expose the inadequacy of security measures.

    In and out without necessarily shaking it all about.

  3. Mr Grumblefish

    I'd blame the Norks

    but it's pretty difficult to to do any serious hacking over a network consisting of empty soup cans and old pieces of string.

    1. Bumpy Cat

      It probably is the Norks

      When you have the resources of an entire country, it's possible to field a small but well-equipped team of computer specialists, even though the country can barely function. Much like the ruling family can live in luxury while the majority of the people are starving

    2. Guido Esperanto
      Paris Hilton


      any pictures of said Norks featuring string?

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        I for one

        Welcome our new string clad Nork bearing overladies.

    3. Graham Marsden

      Don't forget...

      ... that North Korea gets a lot of backing from China who aren't exactly blameless when it comes to mass hacking attacks....

      1. Arctic fox

        @Graham Marsden, RE "Don't forget"

        In fact in recent years it has become increasingly obvious that the Chinese regard their one time ally as an increasingly dangerous and unstable liability. I strongly suspect that China's main interest in NK nowadays is trying to ensure that it does not suddenly implode and they end up with half that country's population camped out on the Chinese side of the border as refugees.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    I'm sure someone is currenty tearing his hair out for forgetting to insert an by-IP-access rate limiter into the application.

    Or did someone just copy the database dump?

  5. Chris Girocco


    Between the cloning and now THIS, I think we're completely flocked!

  6. Disgruntled of TW

    Not entirely sure ...

    ... illegally acquiring someone's personal details means they have been "hacked". The data holding institution got hacked. End user is the vitcim. Smites of sensationalism.

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    "It's now becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between attacks on military, communications, financial, civilian or critical infrastructure targets," he added.

    That might be why they are having security problems, if they can't even tell if a bank is military or not, or a social networking site is financial, and so on. Of course, if they are serious, this is a form of fascism -- in that one tennet involves tying together government and private business interests.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Tsk! Silly SKs?

    Why, they should use the UK model and SK telecoms merely sell information upon request No?

  9. Frank Drebin

    *troll face*

    Now what's the good of having a Great Firewall of China if you're not gonna police it & keep the buggers in?! :-p

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Their police ARE the buggers. Not only are they a good defense, walls are great for staging an offense as well.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    All your base are belong to us!

    See title.

  11. J 3

    a SIMS-like environment featuring avatars and virtual apartments

    Gee, and I thought Facebook was the most annoying thing ever... But as I always say: nothing is so bad that it can't get worse.

  12. Big Bear

    What teh mass media has taught me recently

    So basically, the NotW has now hacked an ENTIRE country??!!1!1111

    Won't someone think of the (South Korean) children??!11!!!!1!

  13. Candide

    Is Windows to blame?

    I wish that there were more technical details in this article. My understanding is that South Korea is one of the most Windows-addicted countries on the planet. The government web sites all run on Windows Server, and you are REQUIRED to run Windows on your computer in order to access them.

    Without more details, I don't know if this was a Windows-based virus like Stuxnet, or something else entirely. But I keep hoping that an incident like this will finally wake people up that Windows has some built-in vulnerabilities, and Microsoft has difficulty closing these security holes because it would break backwards compatibility with existing applications.

    1. Bumpy Cat


      My other half is Korean (SOUTH Korean), and to access Korean blogs, news sites, banking or anything else you need Windows, or you get lots of errors. I've installed Linux on her laptop anyway :D That's mainly because there are a lot of pharming sites in Korea, but they all target Windows of course.

  14. Graham Wilson

    Call in the Pros.

    China might desist if we use real pros to retaliate.

    Perhaps it's time to wheel LulzSec into return the attack.

  15. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Network registered to asdfasdf

    Who hasn't received 35 million spams and hacking attempts from Korea's poorly maintained networks? Only a fool would think that there ever was any security there. There must be something political behind announcing a breach now.

  16. Jan Hargreaves


    a new alibi for bart simpson:

    the news of the world did it sir!


  17. The Nameless Mist

    nearly everyone .. i don't think so

    A bit of SPIN on the posting title.

    Population of Korea is approx 48Million (2010 estimate)

    Assuming the data theft was the stated 35m then this is about 73%.

    Of course "Three Quarters of all Koreans hacked" isn't quite as punchy as "nearly everyone".

    1. Bumpy Cat

      In defence of the article ...

      In the article text it did say "those who are online". Given the proportion of haroboji/halmoni* in Korea, I suspect it is pretty much everyone online.

      * grandads/grannies

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    re: nearly everyone

    Last time I looked, the word 'nearly' didn't have any formal mathemetical ratios attached to it.

    In short, you're both wrong. Or right. Your call.

    Paris because I 'nearly' would.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    This is why

    North Korea is Best Korea

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Surely it would be easier...

    "Names, phone numbers, email addresses, and other details may have been exposed "

    ... to just get hold of a phone book? The details might be a bit more accurate then (Hugh Jass, tel: 666 666 666 email:

    to the panic station!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SSH attacks

    We have seen a massive increase in SSH brute force attacks from Korean IP ranges.

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