Posted on November 29, 2021 at 5:35 AM
South Korea has begun to strengthen its cybersecurity laws following the recent hacking incident that exposed the private lives of several smart home users in the country.
According to the report on the hacking incident, attackers targeted several smart home users and leaked their nude videos, selling them for Bitcoin on the darknet.
In reaction to the incident, the South Korean government has decided to boost its cybersecurity laws to offer more protection to residents in the country, with 63% of the population leaving in flats.
The Korea Internet Security Agency brought the situation to the attention of law enforcement authorities in the country, and the police have launched an investigation into the matter. The agency has also confirmed that the hacked video footages were from apartments across the country.
Some of the released images and videos on the darknet showed scenes of private home life, sex scene, and a naked body, according to tech news IT Chosum, which exposed the hacking activity earlier this month.
The Attacker Reportedly Sold Access To The Apartment For 0.1 Bitcoin
According to a report, who posed as a buyer while contacting the hacker, video access to an apartment for 24 hours costs 0.1 bitcoin (about $5,736). As part of the negotiation, the hackers reportedly provided a long list of apartments for the reporter to choose from.
This incidence shows the increased risk of installing smart home features in apartments. Korean apartments started installing intercom systems as part of smart home features. However, the features have been expanded, which has allowed threat actors and hackers to hack some of the systems. Several news flats in South Korea are equipped with modern smart home devices.
Although these devices make life easier and more convenient for the users, they are highly risky, as the latest hacking incident has proven. Smart home devices have allowed hackers to have unauthorized access to certain video contents that expose the private lives of residents of the apartments.
Several of the apartments have installed smart home devices such as air conditioners, laundry machines, refrigerators, heaters, lights, as well as wall pad door locks that are controlled by smartphones remotely.
Hackers Take Advantage Of Flaws In IoT Devices
Some of the systems include surveillance cameras, which are known to be vulnerable to privacy incursion. Once the hackers have successfully invaded one home, they are likely to have access to the footage of neighboring flats that are connected to the building’s network, according to IT Chosun.
As a result of the incident, South Korean officials have intensified efforts to improve the firewall guidance, especially for the Internet of Things (IoT). Many of these devices are known to be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
South Korea remains one of the world’s technological powerhouse, and the country’s internet penetration is one of the highest in the world. Many residents have embraced the new culture of interconnecting most of their gadgets. But following the attack, officials have set up a committee to make sure the security of users when using IoT devices is almost guaranteed.
Users Should Be More Vigilant Online
The country’s ministry of science and technology reacted to the incident by noting that residents are at high risk of cyber threats, including ransomware attacks and invasion of private lives.
The ministry’s deputy director of cybersecurity, Kim Nam-Seung, said the latest hacking incident showed that people leaving in flats need to be more security conscious when connecting their devices online.
Kim added that hackers are no longer focusing only on the computer when looking for loopholes to exploit their victims. Many of them are now looking at-home devices that are increasingly being connected online.
This means users need to be extremely careful when using any device online. Kim stated that users need to avoid using passwords that are too easy to guess. They should also download updates regularly and use only government-endorsed products that come with high-security walls.
“The best way to fight hacking is to prevent it through solid firewalls and users’ precautions,” Kim reiterated.
The government is also playing its part to make sure that hackers do not have a field day regularly exposing residents. It has moved to force construction firms to unlink smart home systems for each flat. The move will prevent hackers from having access to the entire apartment once they succeed in hacking a single flat.