Nation’s worst hacking attack came from China

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Nation’s worst hacking attack came from China

The National Police Agency said yesterday that the nation’s worst hacking case originated from a Chinese IP address after investigating over 40 computers affected by the massive breach that compromised the personal information of some 35 million users of Nate and Cyworld.

The hacker, who has yet to be identified, gained access to 62 computers owned by SK Communications, which runs the two popular sites, on July 18 or 19, police said. The computers had been installed with a free file-compression software program made by ESTsoft called Alzip, which can be downloaded from the Internet.

Using ESTsoft’s servers, the hacker implanted malicious codes onto the computers, making them “zombies,” to steal the personal information on July 26 or 27.

According to police, the hacker was able to gain access to the names, resident registrations numbers, birthdays, gender, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, home addresses and user names of the 35 million Nate and Cyworld account holders.

Police said they have been unable to determine whether the hacker has been able to break the encryption on the stolen personal information.

In addition to seeking cooperation from Chinese police, the NPA said it also had plans to send Korean authorities to China. Given the sophistication and scale of the hacking, police said it appeared the culprit was the most intelligent hacker the country has ever seen.

The hacker targeted only the computers of SK Communications officials, not any computers owned by anyone else who has Alzip installed, police said.

Police added that other companies could have been targeted by the hacker, though none have been identified thus far. Some experts suspect that North Korea might have orchestrated the cyberattack, based on the hacking of Nonghyup’s servers on April 12, which the government has blamed on the North.

After the National Police Agency briefing, ESTsoft issued a statement stating that it would upgrade its security system. “We respect the results of the police’s analysis and investigation,” the statement said. “To prevent further hackings, we will strengthen the security system on our programs.”

“As a general-purpose software company, we deeply apologize for being involved in the hacking,” said Kim Jang-joong, CEO of ESTsoft, in the statement. But the software company added that its other programs, such as its antivirus program Alyac, were not related to the hacking and that it had not received any reports of damages from their customers.

By Kim Hee-jin []

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

“3500만 명 개인정보 중국 넘어갔다”

경찰, SK컴즈 해킹 수사
중국 공안과 공조하기로

싸이월드와 네이트 회원 3500만 명의 개인정보가 중국에 있는 IP로 넘어간 것으로 확인됐다.

 경찰청 사이버테러대응센터는 SK커뮤니케이션즈(SK컴즈)와 보안업체 이스트소프트 등의 PC와 서버 등 40여 대를 분석한 결과 이 같은 사실을 확인했다고 11일 밝혔다. 유출된 개인정보는 ID와 암호화된 비밀번호·주민등록번호, 이름, 생년월일, 전화번호, 주소 등이다.

 경찰에 따르면 이번 사건의 해커는 지난달 18~19일께 이스트소프트의 ‘공개용 알집’ 업데이트 서버를 해킹해 정상 업데이트 파일을 악성파일로 바꾸는 수법으로 SK컴즈 사내망 PC 62대를 감염시켰다. SK컴즈의 특정 IP로 악성코드를 심었으며 현재까지 다른 정보기술(IT) 업체나 일반인을 노린 정황은 없다고 경찰은 설명했다.

 경찰은 악성코드의 수준과 백신을 만드는 업체인 이스트소프트를 대담하게 해킹한 점 등으로 볼 때 이번 사건에 최고 수준의 해커가 개입한 것으로 보고 있다. 해커는 지난달 18∼25일 악성코드에 감염된 SK컴즈 PC를 통해 데이터베이스(DB) 관리자의 ID와 비밀번호 등 접속정보를 수집했고, 26∼27일에는 DB 서버에 접속해 3500만 명의 회원정보를 중국으로 유출했다. 경찰은 중국 공안과 공조수사를 통해 최대한 빨리 범인을 검거해 유출 자료를 회수할 것이라고 밝혔다.

◆IP(Internet Protocol)=인터넷상의 컴퓨터 사이에 데이터를 보내는 데 사용되는 통신규약. 인터넷에 연결돼 있는 컴퓨터들은 다른 컴퓨터와 구별될 수 있도록 한 개 이상의 고유한 IP 주소를 갖는다.
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