South Korea mulls cybersecurity secretary post

The proposed cybersecurity secretary position will help coordinate actions from multiple agencies and speed up response time.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

The South Korean government is considering creating a cybersecurity secretary post within the presidential office to handle any cyberattacks on key national bodies. This follows last week's online attack that crippled the networks of two major banks and three broadcasters.

The Yonhap News Agency reported Sunday that should the position be created officially, the appointee will report directly to the chief of the National Security Office at Cheong Wa Dae, which is the name of the presidential office.

South Korea is contemplating creating a post of cybersecurity secretary to better manage cyberattacks on key government bodies.

The need for this "control tower" position was highlighted during last week's simultaneous cyberattacks on domestic banks and broadcasters.

An unnamed official from the ruling Saenuri Party was quoted in the report saying: "Countermoves against nationwide cyberterrorism and attacks are spread across government bodies, including the National Intelligence Service, the National Police Agency, the military cyber command, and the Korea Communications Service. Under the current structure, an efficient and rapid counter move against hackers can hardly be expected."

Last Wednesday, an attack on local Internet service provider LG Uplus resulted in server outages at three domestic broadcasters--YTN, MBC and KBS--as well as the Shinhan Bank and NongHyup Bank. Initial worries were the attacks came from North Korea, while a subsequent report said the malicious code used for the attack came from an Internet Protocol (IP) address in China

The Korea Communications Commission has since corrected its assessment, saying the malware came from a local origin and it had mistaken a private IP address used by NongHyup Bank as an IP address allocated to China. It also revealed the National Police Agency has confiscated the hard disk of the suspected computer for further investigation, but did not elaborate on the attacker, a separate Yonhap report Sunday stated.



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