Two indicted in actors Joo Jin Mo, Ha Jung Woo phone hacking, blackmail case

Phones of at least 10 celebrities were hacked and stars blackmailed by accused who threatened to leak their personal information to media and public

Ji Joo Mo

Two people have been indicted for the hacking of the phones of at least 10 celebrities, including actors Joo Jin Mo and Ha Jung Wooand, and their subsequent blackmail.

The celebrities were being blackmailed for at least three months. Reports claimed that five of the celebrities had even paid 600 million won to the accused after they were blackmailed.

The two hackers were arrested by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency's cyber investigation team last month and were kept in detention while the investigation was on. After the probe, they were handed over to the prosecution. Chief Public Prosecutor Byun Pil Gun of the Seoul Supreme Prosecutor's Office indicted the duo who have been charged with blackmail, violating the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, threatening to release the celebrities' personal information and demanding money.

The hacking incident came to light in January when actor Joo Jin Mo gave details of the case and said that he had refused to pay the blackmailers. In fact, the personal messages he shared with other actors were released to the media.

Following this, the actor apologized to his fans but stood firm, saying he would not pay the blackmailers.

He apologized to his fans when based on the leaked messages reports claimed that actor was using the illegal drug profofol. Issuing a clarification, actor Joo Jin Mo stated that his messages were maliciously edited and distorted. He along with his agency warned of legal action against those spreading fake news about him and his personal life.

The case does not end here as only two people have been arrested in the case. The brainchild of the group is said to be in China and has still not been arrested.

According to a report in Dispatch, the phones were hacked through Samsung Cloud. Samsung Electronics said in a statement that neither the Samsung Galaxy phone nor the Samsung Cloud services were hacked. It said hacking of phones of celebrities was done through external link. "As long as your user ID and password remain undisclosed, your personal information saved to Samsung Cloud will be protected according to the privacy agreement," the statement added.