Cryptocurrency Exchange Head Accused of Leaking Military Secrets to North Korean Spy

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Key Takeaways:

  • Two South Korean military officers have been arrested for leaking military information to a presumed North Korean spy.
  • They have been accused of violating the National Securities Act.
  • The police are yet to get hold of the hacker. 

The relationship between North Korea and South Korea is tense and the news circulating at the moment might make it worse. Earlier today, Yonhap News agency published a report that talks about a 38-year-old South Korean executive with the last name Lee of a cryptocurrency exchange who was accused of violating the National Security Act. He came in touch with a hacker who is presumed as a spy from North Korea last July and was providing him with military secrets. The report mentions that the executive shared information including login details for the military’s command and control system with the spy in exchange for money.

The officer also sent the spy images of the defense network website and military security guidelines. However, the hacker could not gain access to the Korean Joint Command and Control System which is a confidential military network. 

The police and the prosecution officials have reported that the executive also built an ally with a 29-year-old military captain in August to receive military secrets in exchange for cryptocurrency. He also sent the captain a spy camera in the disguise of a watch this January, and a “PoisonTap” USB computer hacking device in March. The investigation is ongoing to find what other information has been leaked 

Officials have also said that both Lee and the captain received almost 700 million won and 48 million won in cryptocurrency. The latter has also been accused of violating the National Security Act. The police said, “This is the first case in which an active-duty officer and a civilian under orders of a North Korean agent colluded and spying on military secrets is discovered.” 

The authorities were alarmed about this operation in February and they arrested Lee on April 2 and the army officer on April 15. The police have not yet been able to track the hacker and they are also on the lookout for a suspect who acted as a mediator between Lee and the army officer. 

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Shreya Bhattacharya
Shreya Bhattacharya

A journalist & writer exploring new topics every day!

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