Weaponizing South Korean Contact Tracing

South Korea is relying extensively on contact tracing of COVID-19 positive patients and coupling that with controversial text alerts that reveal a lot of personal information about patients (names are not included, but it looks like more than enough information is included to de-anonymize most patients).

As part of the information the South Korean government includes in text alerts is information on what restaurants and businesses a patient had visited. As can be imagined, this has a major impact on those businesses, and has led to fraudsters attempting to blackmail restaurants,

While restaurants that had been named closed temporarily for fumigation, they say their association with the virus could put them out of business.

Fraudsters are now playing on those fears. A man claiming to be infected with Covid-19 called several restaurants in the Mapo district of Seoul warning that their business would suffer if he told health authorities he had eaten there, and demanded money in return for his silence. Police are investigating the case but have yet to locate the suspect.

Leave a Reply