Feeds

Software maker fingered in Korean hackocalypse

ESTsoft flub spawns nation's worst breach

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.