EFEBangkok Desk

Government representatives from 14 South Korean agencies convened for an emergency meeting at the headquarters of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) in Seoul on Tuesday, after reports that dozens of officials' phones had been hacked, according to local news.

Malware was sent by North Korean hackers to the cell phones of officials - 1 in 5 of whom accidentally downloaded it - between February and March, allowing hackers access to their contacts, messages and any phone conversations, Yonhap News Agency reports.

The discovery comes just weeks after President Park Geun-hye called for increased punitive measures against North Korea since its satellite launch and nuclear test earlier this year.

South Korean police inspected key infrastructure sites throughout the nation at the end of February to prepare for possible terrorist attacks from its renegade neighbor.

The NIS has also warned South Korean citizens that millions who use internet banking could be at risk of theft, as North Korean hackers gained control last month of a server that provides security software for online monetary transactions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has repeatedly denied engaging in any cyberwarfare, despite evidence from Seoul that as of January this year, Pyongyang hackers are controlling at least 10,000 'zombie' - compromised - computers, in 120 countries.