SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s cyberwarfare command reported directly to the presidential office on foreign and local online activity trends in the early 2010s, a government investigation team said Sunday amid allegations that the military unit was involved in domestic politics.
The Cyber Command was launched in 2010 on the mission to counter North Korea’s hacking attempts and other cyberattacks.
Under the former conservative administrations, however, it was allegedly mobilized to help the spread of messages supportive of government policies and critical of opposition blocs.
Especially of note, some of the command’s troops and agents are suspected of having posted politically sensitive replies to Internet news ahead of the 2012 presidential elections.
The left-leaning Moon Jae-in administration formed a task force at the Ministry of National Defense to look into the case.
It has “recovered the server of the Korean Joint Command and Control System (KJCCS), and confirmed a number of documents reported to Cheong Wa Dae,” the ministry said.
There was a total of 462 documents delivered to the presidential office from Jan. 8, 2011, to Nov. 15, 2012, it added.
KJCCS is the military’s internal communication network used for the delivery of classified information.
The documents were largely about public opinions posted on the Internet and social networking sites (SNS), according to the ministry.
Some of the reports included briefings on SNS activities by celebrities and political issues, it added.