South Korean government’s YouTube channels cyberattacked

September 5, 2022

SEOUL – Three of the country’s official YouTube channels were hacked between Thursday and Saturday, including the South Korean government’s YouTube channel which has some 260,000 subscribers. The channels have since been restored, according to the relevant agencies.

At 6 a.m. on Saturday, a staff member from the Ministry of Culture read a blog post indicating that government channels on the video-sharing platform may have been hacked. The message included a screenshot of SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s live-streamed interview clip, according to a Culture Department official on Sunday. The channel’s name had been changed to SpaceX Invest.

The screenshot shows that more than 50,000 people were watching the channel at the time, the ministry official told the Korea Herald.

The account was successfully restored at 7:20 a.m. the same day, according to the ministry.

While Google Korea has confirmed that the channel was hacked, the matter has been handed over to both Google and Seoul Cyber ​​Police to investigate the exact cause of the incident.

The Korean Tourism Board’s YouTube channel, Imagine Your Korea, was also hacked on two consecutive days, Thursday and Friday.

“Part of our most popular hit video series ‘Feel the Rhythm of Korea’ had been temporarily removed from our channel, but luckily we were able to bring back all the content,” a KTO official told the Korea Herald on Sunday. The KTO channel was restored on Saturday evening.

On August 29, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea’s YouTube channel was hacked and restored on the same day.

The KTO and the Ministry of Culture confirmed that their channels were operated by their own staff.

“We held an emergency meeting on Saturday and are currently awaiting the results of the investigation to see what steps can be taken to prevent future incidents,” a culture ministry official said.

Meanwhile, the KTO is currently considering operating a subchannel as a backup source.

Raymond T. Helms