• ICT Ministry Raises Cyber Threat Warning Against Mounting Attacks
(Image: Reuters-Yonhap)

The Ministry of Science and ICT has raised its cyber threat warning level in response to growing cyberattacks and threats related to COVID-19 relief funds.

South Korea has a five-tier cybersecurity alert system, which was set at the second-lowest level as of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

With the move, the Korea Internet & Security Agency will expand monitoring of malware and other cyberthreats as well as strengthen response measures with related institutes.

The ICT ministry said it aimed to preemptively respond to growing cyber threats, including ransomware, which is a type of malware that holds data or systems hostage until a ransom is paid.

Data showed 78 ransomware attacks were reported to the internet security agency in the first half of the year, compared with 39 in 2019 and 127 cases in total last year.

The government said it expects phishing attacks to increase with the scheduled provision of trillions of won in pandemic relief funds to coronavirus-battered small business owners and low-income households.

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