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  1. SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Cybercrimes increased nearly 14 percent in South Korea last year to reach about 150,000 cases, the National Police Agency (NPA) said in a report Thursday, warning that phishing scams based on messengers and emails are expected to further evolve this year. A total of 149,604 cybercrimes occurred in the nation in 2018, up 13.6 percent from 131,734 recorded for the previous year, according to the NPA report titled “2018 Analysis of Cyberthreats.” Crimes using information and communications networks, such as Internet scams, cyber financial frauds and infringement of personal and location information, accounted for 123,677 cases, or 82.7 percent of the total, it noted. The report forecast that this year’s main cyberthreats will come from “messenger phishing” on social media, advanced supply chain attacks, cyberattacks on the Internet of Things (IoT) and spear phishing, an email scam. In particular, it said, messenger phishing, which prevailed in the early 2010s, is expected to be prevalent again. Messenger phishing is a cybercrime in which scammers pretending to be an acquaintance request cash remittances via instant messengers. As the nation’s IoT industry is expected to grow to about 17 trillion won (US$15.3 billion) in 2020, the report cautioned users of smart home systems against distributed denial-of-service attacks, a malicious attempt to paralyze online services. The methods used for spear phishing — in which ransomware, a type of malicious software, is spread through emails disguised as those addressing inter-Korean peace and social issues — are expected to evolve in various forms, the report said. The report advised computer users to immediately delete emails of unknown origin and not to click on suspicious attachments or links. Source
  2. Police in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar have apprehended 800 Chinese citizens and confiscated hundreds of computers and mobile phone SIM cards as part of an investigation into a cybercrime ring, local security authorities said. The arrests took place after police raided four locations, and followed two months of investigations, Gerel Dorjpalam, the head of the General Intelligence Agency of Mongolia, said at a media briefing. He did not go into specific details of the offences but said they involved illegal gambling, fraud, computer hacking, identity theft and money laundering. "As of this moment we suspect they are linked to money laundering," he said. "We are looking into the matter." All of the 800 Chinese citizens in detention came to Mongolia using 30-day tourist visas. The Chinese Embassy in Ulaanbaatar said in a statement that it would cooperate with the Mongolian police. "The police department of Mongolia has taken the necessary measures in this case and is currently in the process of investigating," it said. "China and Mongolia will have open law enforcement and security cooperation, and the two parties will be working closely together on this matter." A month ago, 324 undocumented Chinese citizens were arrested in the Philippines on charges of running illegal online gaming activities and engaging in cyberfraud, according to a notice by the country's immigration bureau. Mongolia saw about 480,000 foreign tourists enter in the first three quarters of this year, up 10.7%, with Chinese citizens accounting for nearly a third of the total. The landlocked north Asian nation is trying to diversify its economy and ease its dependence on raw materials, but it has traditionally been wary of opening up its economy to China, its giant southern neighbour. Source: Mongolia arrests 800 Chinese citizens in cybercrime probe (via The Star Online)
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