Computer Crime Research Center


Defense Ministry’s Cyber Network Is Hacker-Proof

Date: September 03, 2008

A Defense Ministry spokesman assured Tuesday that the department's cyber-security system is ``hacker-proof," adding that its intra-net computer data network is detached from the external Internet.

The ministry's announcement was designed to address new security concerns in wake of the arrest of a North Korean defector who was allegedly working for North Korean intelligence.

Local media have reported that Won Jung-hwa, 34, had allegedly collected e-mail addresses of a number of South Korean military officials. The reports said these e-mail addresses may have been used by hackers to break into the Defense Ministry's computer network. In fact, the Korean military officials issued a security warning to its personnel last month when some staff began receiving e-mails with attachments containing hacking programs.

But Defense Ministry spokesman Won Tae-jae told local reporters during a press briefing Tuesday that the ministry's intra-net network is not connected to the external Web, ``so that outsiders can't approach the internal network through the Internet."

And regarding computers with Web access, ``we have been instructing our staff not to store any military data on those computers. Also, our staff members are not allowed to use programs like word-processing on Internet-enabled computers," the spokesman said. ``We are also constantly monitoring our network and the Web-enabled computers."

Overseas hackers have been targeting Korean government agencies in recent years. In 2004, a computer user based in China reportedly broke into computer networks used by the National Assembly secretariat and the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis, a Seoul-based think tank.
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