South Korea tightens laws after hacker sells private videos for Bitcoin (BTC)

Mon 29 Nov 2021 ▪ 9h30 ▪ 3 min read — by Rudy Bauer

Hundreds of apartment buildings across South Korea have been hacked. As a result of the attack, compromising videos of residents’ personal lives were released on the dark web.

Leaked nude videos sold for BTC

Intimate video footages of residents were sold by a hacker in exchange for Bitcoin. The Korea Internet Security Agency was the one to make the news, before the police got involved in the case and confirmed the problem. The videos leaked online depicted private life scenes that included intimate moments, writes scmp.com.

A member of the media decided to pose as a buyer and contacted the hacker. In response, he received a quote: video access to an apartment for 24 hours costs 0.1 Bitcoin (about $5,744 at the time of writing). In return for the money transfer, the hacker promised to send a long list of flats to choose from.

In South Korea, 63% of residents live in apartments. The smart home systems installed in Korean flats were first used as intercoms, but then their functions expanded. Today, many new flats have smart home devices that remotely control door locks, lighting, heaters, refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners.

According to Kim Nam-sun of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the incident attracted public attention because it was not home computers or mobile phones that were hacked, but wall pad devices (smart home control centres), resulting in a complete disruption of privacy at home.

In response to the incident, officials issued a list of recommendations on firewalls, but refused to take any steps that would require additional investment in cybersecurity. They also recommended that users “avoid easy-to-guess passwords, regularly downloading security patch updates and use government-endorsed products with solid security walls.”

Concerns about home systems networks have arisen before. In 2018, local newspaper Busan Ilbo hired two computer science graduate students to hack into the smart grid of a newly built apartment building to test its security level. The task was completed by the students in just one day. Following the disclosure, the Ministry of Science and Technology advised residents to set unique passwords and update their home systems regularly. Experts also advised residents to switch off cameras when they are not in use.

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Rudy Bauer

Photographe, Vidéaste, webdesigner et enfin rédacteur pour CoinTribune: l'image, le digital et la blockchain sont mon dada.

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The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.

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