Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Data Breach Leaks 1,000 North Korean Defectors' Details

Data Breach Leaks 1,000 North Korean Defectors' Details

In a statement, the Unification Ministry said the hack had been detected during a check of the computers by a "related authority", which then ordered an on-site investigation. "The personal information that had been leaked (which includes name and birth date) will be explained individually over phone or mail".

Speculation is that the USA will review its existing defense cost-sharing treaties with South Korea, Japan, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to impose heavier burdens on the partners from next year. Experts say the lives of the defectors and their families, both to the south and north the border, might now be in danger. The employee reportedly wasn't following protocols to keep North Korea defectors' data encrypted and on offline computers. "The file was confirmed to have been leaked".

A North Korean defector surnamed Choi told CNN there was concern that someone working for the organization might have "purposefully leaked it".

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters earlier Friday that he made a decision to release the footage and data as objective evidence to let the people in and outside Japan know that the Japanese Self-Defense Force operated appropriately.

"Their family members can go on with their lives in North Korea without telling anybody", Kim said, adding, "I'm anxious that this could lead to [relatives of] defectors coming into harm's way".

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The 997 defectors whose information were leaked, have been notified of the incident.

The hackers' identity and the origin of the cyber-attack is not yet confirmed.

The government has not pointed the finger at North Korea this time, although many cyber-security experts been warning of the increasing sophistication of hackers from the North.

Hana Centers were set up by the South Korea government in 2010 to help North Korea refugees integrate into and establish stable lives in the country by helping with counseling, resettlement costs, medical expenses, children's education and employment.

South Korean Archbishop Kim Hee-jung said Friday Pope Francis is ready to visit North Korea if leader Kim Jong Un sends an official invitation.

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