University websites in South Korea defaced by Chinese hacktivist group, local media claims

The threat actor allegedly threatened to go after a staggering 2,000 government targets in the Asian nation – and has now begun to act on that after hacking into the Korean Research Institute for Construction Policy and 11 other target organizations, Donga newspaper said.

The suspected partisan group, which is rather perversely called the Cyber Security Team, is thought to be based in China. It’s believed to be behind the attacks on January 25 that led to a dozen university websites being defaced with the slogan: “Announcing invasion of the South Korean internet.”

The websites – which also included the Korean Archaeological Society, the Reach Institute for Early Childhood Education, and the Korean Academy of Basic Medicine and Health Science – are offline at the time of writing, added Donga.

Earlier this year, the hacktivist group exfiltrated the personal information of 161 South Korean workers and posted the data on its website.

The precise motives for Cyber Security Team’s alleged campaign of disruption are unclear, but pundits suggest that South Korea is in a diplomatically awkward position amid heightening tensions between China and the US.

As a democracy, South Korea is something of a natural regional ally of the US but has also come to be highly dependent economically on China since establishing formal ties with it 30 years ago.

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