Three Korean government YouTube channels targeted by hackers
Three government-operated YouTube channels were hacked this week, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Saturday.
The official YouTube channels of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) and the Korean government, all of which are run by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, were targeted by an unknown hacker or hackers, the ministry said.
The latest attack was on the official Korean government channel on Saturday.
"At 3:20 a.m., the channel name and profile picture were altered and a live video was played on the account," the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a statement. "The attack was brought to our attention at 6 a.m. and the channel was restored around 7:20 a.m."
The hacker switched the channel name to from "Government of Republic of Korea" to "SpaceX Invest" and streamed a live video of Elon Musk talking about cryptocurrency.
The "Government of Republic of Korea" channel has some 262,000 subscribers.
The statement by the ministry added that it strengthened the security on its channel to prevent a secondary security breach and that it has notified YouTube and the police so that it can figure out how the account was hacked and avert a similar incident from occurring again.
Google Korea, the Korean arm of YouTube parent company Google, also verified the online attack, telling local news outlets that it is currently "investigating the cause."
The official account for the KTO, titled "Imagine Your Korea," was hacked twice earlier this month.
According to the KTO, the account was first hacked on Sept. 1. After the organization restored the channel later that day, the account was again hacked on Sept. 2. The account was suspended for a day and was restored on Sunday morning.
The KTO explained in a YouTube post on Sunday that their services had been "temporarily banned due to Google policies" following the second hack, and that it had submitted corroborating evidence to prove the account had been hacked so that Google would restore the channel.
Approximately 509,000 people subscribe to KTO's YouTube channel.
The YouTube account for the MMCA was also hacked on Aug. 29.
Similar to the "Government of Republic of Korea" channel, the hacker streamed a video about cryptocurrency. It is unclear if the attacks are related.
The MMCA account was restored within two hours. It has around 59,000 subscribers.
The hacking of the MMCA and Korea Tourism Organization YouTube channels will be reported to the police on Monday, the ministry said.
BY LEE JIAN [email@example.com]