[ISN] Third Country Hacker Uses Korean Computers to Hack U.S Air Force Space Command

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Fri May 21 10:52:46 EDT 2004


Updated May 21, 2004

Korean police and their U.S counterpart began a joint investigation as
several computers of an army unit under the U.S Air Force Space
Command (SPACECOM) were hacked by an individual in a third country via
a Korean firms¡¯ computers in mid-February.

The U.S. concluded that it was a serious case and hurriedly dispatched
its investigators to Korea. The two countries began to establish a
closely cooperative investigation system and have shared information
to identify the hacker.

The U.S Air Force Space Command is one of nine major joint forces
commands under the Department of Defense and the core part that
directs, controls and operates U.S. state-of-the-art military
sections, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, satellites and
radar equipment.

The Cyber Terror Response Center of the Korea Police Agency said
Friday that it launched an investigation, as the U.S. had notified
that a third country¡¯s person had hacked into several computers of an
army unit under the U.S Air Force Space Command. It was revealed that
the hacker used computer servers of two Korean companies, the center

The third country is another Asian nation, but the police agency has
not revealed the name of the country, giving consideration to
international relations. The hacker hacked into the computers of the
U.S Air Force Space Command via two Korean private firms located in
Inchon and Daegu. The hacker used Korean computers by remote control
in the third country to penetrate into the U.S computers. The hacking
was possible because Korea¡¯s Internet network is the most highly
developed in the world and has a close connection with the U.S., and
Korean companies¡¯ computer networks are poorly managed due to firms'
low security awareness.

A police investigator said that the two Korean firms did not realize
their computers were hacked. The third country hacker showed high
technical prowess by using two computers simultaneously to dodge

This person hacked into computers of 12 countries like Taiwan and
Japan, except the U.S., by using Korean computers. The hacker explored
target computers prior to hacking them 120,000 times alone, the police
officer said.

Korea and the U.S. have almost identified who the hacker is and are to
ask the third country to cooperate in arresting the culprit.

The US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and the Computer
Crime Investigation Unit (CCIU) sent two army and navy investigators
to Korea. They are sharing information and discussing the future
direction of the investigation with Korean police.

(Jang Il-hyun, ihjang at chosun.com )

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