South Korea: Hackers Steal ‘Naked Photos’ from over 700 Smart Home Devices, Sell for Bitcoin

An unknown party recently hacked at least 700 smart home devices across South Korea and sold explicit images and videos accessed through the devices on the dark web, South Korea’s National Police confirmed Monday when announcing a criminal investigation into the incident.

“After receiving a call from the Korea Internet & Security Agency and starting an inspection, it seems that there were about 700 shootings [recordings],” Nam Gu-Jun, the chief of South Korea’s National Investigation Headquarters — which is a branch of South Korea’s National Police Agency — told reporters on November 29.

“The police have requested the removal of the video from the website where it was posted,” Nam said, as quoted by South Korea’s Kukmin Ilbo newspaper.

“However, since it is a website with a server in a foreign country and a privately operated website, it is unclear whether the request for deletion will be accepted,” the official acknowledged.

“For this reason, the police are also discussing ways to prevent exposure on the domestic Internet with relevant domestic agencies,” he revealed.

The South Korean tech news website IT Chosun exclusively reported on November 15 that hundreds of smart home devices in apartments across Seoul, South Korea’s national capital, and on the southern Korean island of Jeju were recently hacked. Some of the video footage filmed during the hacking was later sold for “‘0.1 BTC” on the dark web. BTC stands for Bitcoin, a type of cryptocurrency. A sum of 0.1 BTC equals about 8 million South Korean won, or roughly USD $6,717.

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South Korea sticks to flu vaccine plan despite safety fears after 25 die

South Korean officials refused on Thursday to suspend a seasonal influenza inoculation effort, despite growing calls for a halt, including an appeal from a key group of doctors, after the deaths of at least 25 of those vaccinated.

Health authorities said they found no direct links between the deaths and the vaccines.

At least 22 of the dead, including a 17-year-old boy, were part of a campaign to inoculate 19 million teenagers and senior citizens for free, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

“The number of deaths has increased, but our team sees low possibility that the deaths resulted from the shots,” the agency’s director, Jeong Eun-kyeong, told parliament.

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