The South Korean government has issued a cyber security alert against their Northern neighbours amidst growing cyber threats. Seoul is anxious that North Korea may attempt hacking during the presidential transitional period, and escalating cyberwarfare after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
South Korea’s Defence Ministry announced that it has increased the Cyber Protection Condition level by one level higher as of 9:00 a.m. on Monday, outlining that the South Korean military will shore up cybersecurity preparedness and defenses against any potential cyberattacks.
The Defence Ministry has stated that there are mounting concerns that the North Korean threat could expand into cyberspace in the wake of numerous recent ballistic missile launches. Another key factor is the “ongoing conflict in cyberspace in relation to the war between Russia and Ukraine.”
An anonymous South Korean military official has said that Seoul sees a need to take a “proactive measure” given that “cybersecurity risks are expected to considerably grow.” The official also added that the military has not yet seen “any rapid surge” in cyberattacks.
The Defence Ministry added further that they “will maintain a state of full readiness by preemptively and actively monitoring and inspecting the military’s cyber assets.”
Notably, the South Korean National Intelligence Service indicated the necessity to boost cyber defence during the presidential transition period.
The NIS explained that “preemptive measures have been taken as cybersecurity threats have been on the rise, including concerns about hacking attempts with the intent to obtain the new government’s policy materials in the government transition period.”
On top of the NIS highlighted that there are other cyber security risk factors which include the “escalation of cyberwarfare in relation to the Russia-Ukraine war and concerns about cyber retaliation against countries which have imposed sanctions on Russia.”