South Korean internet provider allegedly injected malware into its customers’ computers in order to — wait for it — stop the spread of malware
· Jul 2, 2024 ·

South Korean telecom company KT is under investigation for allegedly downloading malware onto its customers' devices. They did this, believe it or not, in an effort to stop the spread of malware.

Let's take a look at how this came about.

Korean news organization JTBC recently discovered through an in-depth investigation that KT Corporation, one of the largest telecom providers in South Korea, deliberately infected over 600,000 users with malware over their use of torrent services.

The issue began in May 2020 when Webhard, a Korean cloud service provider, was inundated with user complaints of unexplained errors. The company discovered that its Grid Program, which relies on BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing, had been compromised. An anonymous representative of Webhard said, 'There is a suspicion of a hacking attack on our grid service. It's very malicious, interfering with it.'

Upon further investigation, the company noted that all affected users had KT as their internet service provider. The representative added, 'Only KT users have problems. What the malware does on the user's PC is to create strange folders or make file invisible. It completely disables the Webhard program itself. In some cases, the PC itself was also disabled because of it, so we reported it.'

The malware was designed to stop peer-to-peer users from sharing files, which KT says is a common source of malware. KT's software hid files from popular peer-to-peer programs so that users could not share or download them.

Yes, introducing malware to customers' devices in order to stop the spread of malware.

That's a new one for me!

Police raided KT's facilities and here's what they found.

The investigation has uncovered an entire team at KT dedicated to detecting and interfering with the file transfers, with some workers assigned to malware development, others distribution and operation, and wiretapping. Thirteen KT employees and partner employees have allegedly been identified and referred for potential prosecution.

Bro, that does not look good!

However, according to local media,

KT's position is that since the web hard drive P2P service itself is a malicious program, it has no choice but to control it.

All this talk of peer-to-peer file sharing is sure to bring back some PTSD of the early aughts and the Napster wars here in the states.

I suppose if it's any help to South Korea, we could always ship them our solution to the peer-to-peer issues:


Talk about Malware!

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