SEOUL, July 16 (Korea Bizwire) – E-mail contents hinting that a Korean spy agency illegally hacked into the personal computer of a lawyer through an Italian hacking firm have been disclosed by WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks made public the leaked e-mail data through its Twitter feed, indicating that Hacking Team installed a hacking program on the lawyer’s computer on September 16 and 17, 2013, at the request of “South Korea Army Intelligence (SKA).”
SKA is the code name used by Hacking Team, and its client name was “the 5163 Army Unit,” which is used by the Korean National Intelligence Service for its international activities.
The e-mail exchanged between staff members of Hacking Team showed, “I understand from the customer that the target is a lawyer and is not technical. The customer is not agreeable to uninstall but he promises to update us if he discovers something strange.”
The emails include content indicating that “They (NIS) accessed the machines physically.” The e-mails, however, did not specify the identity or the nationality of the target.
Meanwhile, NIS director Lee Byung-ho admitted that it had purchased the “Remote Control System” from the Italian firm, but denied using it to monitor South Koreans, adding the intention was to boost the country’s cyber warfare capabilities against North Korea.
By M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)