The South Korean Defense Ministry has banned agents and workers from using the camera and internet functions on their smartphones, following a wave of cyber attacks targeting the nation.
The local Yonhap News Agency reported the reworked device policy will take effect from 15 July. The policy will force workers to install a custom application designed to forcibly deactivate all major functions like, the devices internet connectivity and camera while in ministry buildings. At the time of publishing the Defense Ministry had not responded to V3's request for comment on the report.
Yonhap reported the ministry created the policy fearing hackers would use rooted phones to steal sensitive information, following widespread cyber attacks on the country's networks. The South Korean cyber pandemic began earlier this year, when hackers operating under the DarkSeoul alias claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks on several of the nation's banks and broadcasters.
The attackers returned later this year on the anniversary of the Korean War. The attacks have seen hackers target numerous South Korean government agencies with denial of service attacks. The DarkSeoul hackers are also believed to be responsible for a data breach allegedly revealing the names and personal details of 40,000 active US servicemen.
The move follows widespread reports hackers are increasingly using mobile devices as an access point into companies' and government networks. The attacks are generally believed to target the Android ecosystem, using Trojanised applications and nefarious phishing messages.
However, security firm Bluebox recently reported this trend could soon end, claiming it has discovered an "Android Master Key" that could be used by hackers to infect 99 percent of all Google smartphones and tablets.
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