Hackers may have stolen the credit card information of thousands of American service members deployed to South Korea, the U.S. military recently conceded.
Reuters learned from the United Nations that American rival North Korea has generated $2 billion for its nuclear program using cyberattacks aimed at stealing financial information.
On Sunday, the U.S. military’s Major Cybercrime Unit-Korea revealed that hackers might have compromised the credit card information of thousands of American troops serving in South Korea.
“At least 38,000 U.S.-issued payment cards” were among the “compromised” information, it added.
The hackers reportedly targeted an unknown number of unnamed businesses and financial entities in South Korea.
Soldiers from the Eight Army-Korea unit further said on Facebook:
Among the potentially compromised organizations was an unnamed credit union which provided services at U.S. Air Force bases in South Korea.
The large number of U.S. issued payment cards included in the data, combined with the significant presence of U.S. service members in South Korea, leads the Major Cybercrime Unit-Korea to assess with medium confidence that the purchase cards of U.S. service members may have been included in this compromise.
U.S. service members who suspect that hackers accessed their credit card information should consider placing a “fraud alert” on their credit reports, the American military suggested.
American troops should also monitor their accounts for signs of identity theft, it added.
While the U.S. military says the number fluctuates contingent upon rotation and other factors, there are an estimated 28,000 American troops and civilian military personnel stationed in South Korea.
In June 2018, a spokesman for U.S. Forces Korea told USA Today, “The numbers can dip to about 27,000 or top off at 33,000.”
Fox News reported that of the American personnel deployed to South Korea, nearly 23,000 are U.S. troops.
Despite several failed attempts, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration remains committed to reaching a denuclearization pact with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.