South Korean nuclear operator hacked, personal data, blueprints leaked

Unknown hackers have hacked the computer systems of South Korea’s nuclear plant operator and leaked noncritical data claim the officials.

The targeted institution was Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), where latest designs and manuals of two reactors, personal details of over 10,000 workers, flow charts and estimates of radiation exposure among local residents were leaked.

At the moment it is unclear if the nuclear control system of the KHNP Nuclear Power was hacked.

south-korean-nuclear-operator-hacked-personal-data-blueprints-e1419373145179

It all started when a hacker calling himself “president of the anti-nuclear reactor group”posted blueprints of nuclear reactors on social media last Friday, demanding shut down of some reactors before Christmas, according to The Korea Times.

The government of South Korea asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help the local authorities in the investigation after discovering that IP addresses used in the attack belonged to South Korea, Japan and US, added The Korea Times.

South Korean president Park Geun-hye has defined the cyber attack as “cyber-terrorism”, ordering an investigation following with a complete inspection of country’s important infrastructure.

“Nuclear power plants are first-class security installations that directly impact the safety of the people. A grave situation that is unacceptable has developed when there should have been not a trace of lapse as a matter of national security,” according to President office.

Cyber attacks have now turned out to be a weapon of mass destruction where hackers (sometimes government funded and sometimes hacktivists) do their best to breach key infrastructure and institutions of a country to damage it as much as possible. The Sony hack and its alleged connections with the North Korea is a good example.

Let’s see who will be blamed for attacking North Korea’s nuclear plants.


Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.