As part of a sophisticated phishing assault intended to gather personal information, North Korea developed a phony version of Naver, South Korea’s largest online portal, according to Seoul’s spy agency on Wednesday.
One of the major tech businesses in South Korea, Naver offers a wide range of services that many Koreans use on a daily basis, including financial services that are comparable to Apple Pay and Google Maps, as well as well-liked blogs and chat forums.
According to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, Pyongyang constructed a fake version of Naver’s home page that included areas for real-time news, trading, and real estate.
The site, naverportal.com, was designed to hack South Koreans’ Naver IDs and passwords, giving Pyongyang access to valuable personal data, NIS added.
“As North Korea’s hacking attack methods against our people are becoming more sophisticated, we ask people to be extra vigilant,” NIS said in a statement, adding measures have been taken to block the phishing site from South Korean users.
“Please cease accessing it immediately if you spot a page that’s not a standard Naver access domain URL,” it said.
North Korea has previously tried to impersonate Naver’s login page in order to collect South Korean IDs and passwords, but the creation of a false portal was a novel strategy, the agency said.
“The North has upgraded its attack scheme in order to better extort private information,” it said.
“We are tracking the activities of the hacking group in cooperation with foreign agencies as the server is located overseas.”
Naver warned users to continue to exercise caution.
“We urge users to check if the address is the right one and pay extra attention when accessing Naver,” the company said.