|▲ Korean Government YouTube (source: youtube channel 'Korean Government')|
On September 3rd, the YouTube channel “Korea Government” was hacked. The YouTube channel "Korea Government" is operated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The hacking occured at 3:30 am on the 3rd and the channel was hijacked for nearly four hours. At the time of the hack, the channel name of the “Korea Government” was changed to “SpaceX Invest,” and the channel featured a live video related to crypto currencies featuring Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism asked the Cyber Terrorism Investigation Team of the National Investigation Headquarters, of the National Police Agency, to investigate. On the same day, the South Korean Government Agency's YouTube channel for overseas public relations, “Imagine Your Korea,” was also hacked and restoration work was then carried out. A police source explained that other hacking incidents were not requested for formal investigation, and that they only investigated the YouTube channel of the Korean Government. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said, "We grasped the situation around 6:00 a.m. and completed the restoration by strengthening security at 7:20 a.m." According to the Korea Tourism Organization, the first attack took place on the 1st, and the channel was recovered at that time, however, the second hack was carried out immediately on the 2nd of the next day. Google, which owns and operates YouTube, also explained that it has confirmed the fact that the government's YouTube channel was hijacked and subsequently restored. A Google Korea official said they are currently investigating the cause.
On the other hand, not only the channel “Korea Government” on the 3rd, but also the YouTube channel of the affiliated Korea Tourism Organization and the affiliated National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, have inspected the actual damage caused by the hacking and have taken measures to strengthen security. At the Countermeasures meeting, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism confirmed the extent of additional damage to SNS, such as YouTube channels operated by public and other affiliated institutions under its umbrella. In addition, the company decided to strengthen its cyber security management system, by setting up a rapid response system, in the event that signs of an abnormality occur in the future. However, if Google finds an abnormal connection, it will automatically block the account and make the connection impossible to restore. For this reason, the Korea Tourism Organization prepared documentational evidence from related departments, and submitted them to Google. As a result, the Korea Tourism Organization channel has been hacked twice and the account cannot be used.
The Korean YouTube account has been restored and is operating normally. The official YouTube channel of the Korean government was created to introduce various government policies, has 260,000 subscribers, and has accumulated 369,111,459 video views. Recent videos include content dealing with public relations for youth policy, and campaigns to eradicate digital sex crimes.
In July, SBS's YouTube channel was hacked, and in June, YTN's official YouTube channel was hacked for several hours before returning to normal use. As such, hacking is a crime that is rampant in Korean society. I hope that we will strengthen cyber security to prevent further hacking, and that many people will become aware of its dangers, preventing it from happening again.
By An So-yeon, editor-in-chief firstname.lastname@example.org
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