Home South Korea’s KT allegedly infected its P2P users with malware

South Korea’s KT allegedly infected its P2P users with malware

Media outlets based in South Korea have alleged that Korea Telecom targeted some of its customers with malware due to excessive use of peer-to-peer downloading tools.

The company set up a whole new division to develop, maintain, and distribute the malware, with the operation beginning in May 2020 it is claimed.

They believe the number of infected users of ‘web hard drives’ reached 600,000 at one point.

The malware involved was allegedly inserted into the Grid Program which is the code that enables KT users to exchange data in a peer-to-peer method.

The file exchange services were said to have stopped working which left users complaining about the issue on bulletin boards online. Other reported problems include the creation of unknown folders, hiding downloaded files, and some PCs not working at all.

The issue is believed to have lasted almost five months.

Malware refers to any software that is intentionally designed to cause disruption to a computer or server. It’s commonly referred to as viruses, worms, spyware, ransomware, adware, and Trojan viruses.

A representative from the Grid Program told the media that only the people using KT’s internet lines were affected, TechNadu said.

Police get involved in Korean telco drama

After the media started reporting on the supposed issue, the police soon got involved and conducted an investigation that found the source was one of KT’s data centers, known as the Bundang IDC Center.

As such, the Gyeonggi Southern District Office allegedly believes that KT may have violated the Communications Secrets Protection Act and the Information and Communications Network Act.

The initial investigation concluded after four years and led to the CEO of the telecom company quitting. This is one of the largest telecommunications companies in South Korea.

In November 2023, it was said the police had identified and referred 13 people for prosecution including some employees and its parent companies’ employees at the time.

An additional investigation began in May 2024 and remains ongoing.

Featured Image: Via Ideogram

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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