Mystery Hacker Steals Data of 1,000 North Korean Defectors to the South

Mystery hackers have stolen the personal information of nearly 1,000 people who defected from North to South Korea. The South Korean Unification Ministry admitted Friday that unknown hackers have gotten hold of the resettlement agency’s database and that the names, birth dates, and addresses of 997 defectors had been taken. “The malware was planted through emails sent by an internal address,” a ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity. The malicious software hit an agency called the Hana Center, in the southern city of Gumi, which is one of the institutes the ministry runs to help defectors adjust to life in the South. Defectors are despised in North Korea—state media has previously denounced them as “human scum” and has accused South Korean spies of kidnapping some of them. The ministry official declined to say if Pyongyang was believed to have been behind the hack, saying a police investigation was underway to determine who did it.