The personal information of nearly 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.
A computer at an agency called the Hana center, in the southern city of Gumi, was infected with malicious software. “The malware was planted through emails sent by an internal address,” a ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity, due to the sensitivity of the issue.
The Hana center is among 25 institutes the ministry runs around the country to help some 32,000 defectors adjust to life in the richer, democratic South by providing jobs, medical and legal support.
The ministry official declined to say if North Korea was believed to have been behind the hack, or what the motive might have been, saying a police investigation was under way to determine who did it.
The latest data breach comes at a delicate time for the two Koreas which have been rapidly improving their relations after years of confrontation.