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South Korean Foreign Ministry plans to upgrade cybersecurity measures

IANS | Seoul |

South Korea's Foreign Ministry will soon craft a mid-term plan to beef up cybersecurity measures, an official said on Sunday.

The move comes as government offices and other public agencies here face growing cyberthreats, Yonhap news agency reported.

The Foreign Ministry's website has been threatened by DDoS, or distributed denial of service, attack attempts amid the worldwide spread of ransomware.

The ministry plans to sign a contract with an outside cybersecurity agency next month to draw up the 2018-2022 road map within this year.

"It's a project to improve the overall information security system in order to cope with cyberattacks on important information including diplomatic cables," the official was quoted as saying.

There will be a comprehensive review of vulnerabilities in the cyberprotection of the headquarters in Seoul and 184 diplomatic missions across the world, he added.

Earlier this month, a report by Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said that the cyberespionage attack in 2016 on South Korea's defence agency and the malware that stole data from over 2,000 financial cards by compromising 60 ATMs in the country were connected.

Kaspersky Lab found that the malicious code and techniques used in both attacks share similarities with earlier attacks widely attributed to the infamous Lazarus group — a North Korea-based hacking group responsible for series of attacks against commercial and government organisations globally.