NKorea makes off with US-ROK war plans, attempts to hack electric grid

Amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, a South Korean lawmaker is alleging North Korean hackers breached Seoul’s computer systems late last year and stole thousands of classified military documents.

Allegedly carried out in September 2016, South Korean authorities admitted in May it had been subject to what it believed to be a large-scale cyber attack, but did not disclose the nature of the material stolen or the amount taken.

The South Korean Defense Ministry has not commented on the attack or theft.

Democratic Party representative Lee Cheol-hee told South Korean news agency Yonhap North Korean hackers absconded with 235 gigabytes of information from South Korea’s Defense Integrated Data Center.  Lee says 80 percent of the data stolen has yet to be identified.

“Whatever the North Koreans took, we just need to fix the plans,” Rhee told Reuters. “I disclosed this because the military hasn’t been doing that fast enough.”

Of chief concern is the theft of operational plan (OPLAN) 3130, which laid out a detailed military strategy to respond to any North Korean attack.  Additionally, hackers allegedly stole a OPLAN 5150, a protocol which revealed plans to assassinate North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and members of the North Korean leadership in the event of a provocation from the Pyongyang.

The proposal to eliminate the North Korean leadership was described as “carrying out pinpoint decapitation operations against top North Korean leaders.”

Among other plans stolen:  A series of wartime contingency plans, status reports submitted to high-ranking South Korean military officials, operation plans specific to South Korean special forces, and security information related to power plants and military facilities.

Pyongyang denied Lee’s claim, accusing Seoul of “fabricating” the story.

In a related development, U.S.-based cybersecurity company FireEye issued a statement Wednesday that conveyed knowledge of an attempted North Korean hack of the American electrical grid via phishing emails sent to electric companies in September.


[Daily Mail] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy FMT News]