Officials confirmed that they have restored Government of the Republic of Korea, the official YouTube channel of South Korea's government, after a hacker took control of their account and streamed an Elon Musk interview about cryptocurrency over the weekend.
The hacking incident reportedly occurred at around 3:20 a.m. on Saturday when the YouTube channel’s name was changed to “SpaceX Invest” by an unidentified hacker. The channel, which has more than 263,000 subscribers, mainly publishes videos about current policies and events.
"At 3:20 a.m., the channel name and profile picture were altered and a live video was played on the account," the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which runs the South Korean government’s official YouTube channel, as well as the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), said in a statement. “The attack was brought to our attention at 6 a.m. and the channel was restored around 7:20 a.m."
Following the incident, the ministry said it had already notified the police and placed measures to strengthen the security of its YouTube channel. It also said that officials have already contacted YouTube about the incident. One official suspected that the channel’s ID and password might have been stolen.
Google has verified the incident to local media, while an official from its Korean arm, Google Korea, noted that they are already investigating the case.
The recent hacking is the latest in a string of incidents involving YouTube channels of South Korean government agencies. On Aug. 29, a cryptocurrency video was also streamed on MMCA's YouTube channel. It reportedly took two hours to restore the channel, which has more than 59,000 subscribers.
The channel of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), which has more than 500,000 subscribers, was also targeted. Officials from the Korean agency had to contact Google to prove the account was hacked on Thursday and Friday, according to reports. The channel was eventually restored on Sunday.
In a statement to Business Insider, a Google spokesperson confirmed that all three channels were “compromised due to unauthorized activity." It is unclear, however, if the three incidents are related.
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