HACKED. The Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) says Wednesday (Jan. 25, 2023) attackers hacked into the websites of 12 institutions last Sunday. The Chinese hacking group identified itself as Cyber Security Team. (Yonhap)

SEOUL – South Korea's internet safety watchdog said Wednesday a Chinese hacking group launched a cyberattack against 12 South Korean academic institutions.

The Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) said the attackers hacked into the websites of 12 institutions Sunday, which included some departments of Jeju University and the Korea National University of Education.

Most websites, including the Korea Research Institute for Construction Policy, were still inaccessible as of 10 a.m. Wednesday.

KISA said the Chinese hacking group had warned of a cyberattack against multiple S. Korean agencies, including KISA.

However, the Internet watchdog was not affected.

The Chinese hacking group, identified as the Cyber Security Team, claimed it had successfully compromised the computer networks of 70 South Korean educational institutions around the Lunar New Year holiday that ran from Saturday to Tuesday.

It also threatened to disclose 54 gigabytes of data it claimed to have stolen from South Korea's government and public institutions.

The Ministry of Science and ICT asked government agencies and individuals to stay vigilant against rising hacking threats.

Science Minister Lee Jong-ho visited the Korea Internet Security Center on Tuesday to check the security posture against possible cyberattacks. (Yonhap)