SINGAPORE: South Korea’s spy agency said on Monday (Nov 13) it has identified 38 fake Korean-language news websites suspected of being operated by Chinese companies.
According to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS), the fake local news websites were created by two Chinese public relations companies – Haimai and Haixun.
The companies created websites with domains similar to companies in South Korea.
These fake websites posted articles from local news outlets without permission and posed as members of the Korea Digital News Association, said the spy agency.
In addition, an unidentified company also tried to use the websites and NewsWire – a press release distribution service – to spread pro-China and anti-US content to shape public opinion, said NIS.
They include praise for the Chinese government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and how South Korea’s participation in the US-led Summit for Democracy brought “more harm than good”.
The fake websites were uncovered by NIS and local cyber security firms, including EST Security Corp and SK shieldus.
The NIS said it will shut down the fake news sites in cooperation with other related government agencies and closely monitor China’s activities aimed at expanding its cyber influence in South Korea.
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