Feeds

Software maker fingered in Korean hackocalypse

ESTsoft flub spawns nation's worst breach

3 Big data security analytics techniques

A devastating attack that exposed the personal information of 35 million South Koreans was perpetrated after hackers breached the security of popular software provider ESTsoft and planted malicious code on one of its update servers, it was widely reported Thursday.

Attackers with Chinese IP addresses uploaded malware to a server used to update ESTsoft's ALZip compression application, South Korean news outlets said. The upgrades eventually caused the compromise of 62 PCs at SK Communications that used the program. Attackers then tapped the machines to steal the names, user IDs, hashed passwords, birthdates, genders, telephone numbers, and street and email addresses contained in a database connected to the same network.

It was South Korea's biggest theft of personal information ever. With about 49 million people living in South Korea, the breach is believed to have affected the majority of the nation's population.

After hijacking the SK Communication PCs with the fake ALZip update, the attackers used the machines to access databases containing user information for the telecom's Cyworld social networking website and the Nate web portal. The publications cited investigators from Korea's National Police Agency.

“As a general-purpose software company, we deeply apologize for being involved in the hacking,” ESTsoft CEO Kim Jang-joon said in a statement, according to The Korea Joongang Daily. “We respect the results of the police's analysis and investigation. To prevent further hackings, we will strengthen the security system of our programs.”

Kim said other software titles offered by ESTsoft, including its Alyac antivirus application, weren't affected in the breach.

Koreans have been dumbstruck at the news. NHN, the operator of Korea’s No. 1 web portal, ordered its employees to delete ESTsoft programs, The Korea Joongang Daily reported in an earlier article. At least one lawsuit has already been filed against SK Communications.

More coverage here. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.