SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s main spy agency on Tuesday accused North Korea of hacking the smartphones of dozens of senior government officials here, saying that Pyongyang had stolen their text messages, contact information and voice conversations.
The agency, the National Intelligence Service, has said that South Korea faces a growing threat of major online attacks from the North, possibly in retaliation for the latest international sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear arms and missile programs. Seoul imposed new sanctions of its own against North Korea on Tuesday.
The intelligence agency said in a news release that it had shared information about recent North Korean hacking attempts in a meeting on Tuesday with other government agencies, which was called to discuss the country’s readiness for a major online attack.
The agency also said that North Korea had successfully hacked into the network of a company that provided security software for an online banking system used by more than 20 million South Koreans. But it said that the attack, which took place in February, was detected early and that there was no major disruption to banking services.