Syscan an annual security conference held in Singapore this week two security researchers from Korea presented a security flaw that affects 99% of the Korean government is hasn’t been fixed yet. The flaw was discovered during research into the safety of Korean software.
One of the programs the research team, which is made of Ryan MacArthur a transplanted American and Beist a Korean national with a long history discovering vulnerabilities, discovered was in Kamban Word Processor, a word processing application similar to Microsoft word but mainly used in the Korean market. Kamban is also mandatory in all government agencies in Korea.
The presentation highlighted how cyber attacks focused on governments and high profile targets often attack software not widely known or used outside of the organization being targeted. These little known applications rarely receive any attention from security researchers but this malicious hackers have increasingly used such vectors for recent high profile attacks.
The recent security compromise of SK Telecom that resulted in the leaking of 33M user credentials was accomplished via a little known Korean anti-virus program. The attackers behind the sophisticated attack were not known, but many user accounts have since appeared for sales on Chinese bulletin boards.
The researcher team said they discovered more than 5 critical vulnerabilities in the government mandated software but would not disclose the specifics until they have had time to speak with the vendor.