South Korea is the newest victim of hacking, after officials at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) confirmed a large scale hack had occurred, stealing large amounts of information from South Korea’s largest nuclear supplier. The attack was reported shortly after U.S. officials confirmed a connection between North Korea in the Sony Pictures attack, and shut down the internal systems for KHNP for a few hours.
It is still unknown who the attackers are, some claiming it may have been North Korea. South Korean officials are not naming any potential suspects, although a Twitter account leaking the information appears to come from Hawaii’s antinuclear party. The leaked information included personal information of 10,000 workers, designs and manuals for 2 of KHNP’s 32 reactors and levels of nuclear radiation for local residents.
Attackers issued a warning after the attack, saying if KHNP does not shut-down 3 nuclear reactors, there will be major consequences. The hacking group warned people in the area to evacuate.
The South Korean government and nuclear experts have both confirmed there is no way the hackers would be able to take over the nuclear plant, or be capable of any large scale destruction.
South Korean officials are proceeding with caution and have been working on different drills for the nuclear plants, to make sure nothing has been damaged.
It is another show of brute force from hackers, capable of stealing a wealth of information on KHNP. The attack shows similarities to the Sony Pictures hack, leaking information and then threatening to leak more, unless the organisation meets with demands.
However, the subject matter is entirely different, the Sony Pictures hack was an attempt, according to U.S. officials, to remove ‘The Interview’ from U.S. cinemas, while the South Korean attack focuses on core infrastructure.