North Korean Hackers Steal South Korean Naval Secrets

Jermaine Ralliford/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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The North Koreans are suspected to have stolen more South Korean military secrets in another major security breach.

Just weeks after it came to light that North Korea stole allied war plans, the North’s hackers breached the secure networks at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. and stole around 60 classified military documents, including the plans for submarines and other naval weapons systems, Kyeong Dae-soo, a conservative lawmaker and a member of the South Korean Parliament’s National Defense Committee, revealed recently, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The stolen military secrets included information on submarine-launched missile technology and Aegis ballistic missile defense systems. The theft was verified by South Korean military investigators.

The leak reportedly occurred because the company’s secure intranet was not properly insulated from the public internet, a situation similar to what gave North Korea access to U.S. and South Korean war plans.

North Korean hackers stole thousands of military documents from the Defense Integrated Data Center in September last year, Minjoo Party Rep. Rhee Cheol-hee revealed earlier this month, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Classified war plans were among the stolen documents, specifically OPLAN 5015 and OPLAN 3100, even though the South Korean defense ministry initially claimed that nothing important was leaked. OPLAN 5015 is the most recent joint U.S.-South Korean plan for a war with North Korea, and OPLAN 3100 is Seoul’s plan for localized provocations, such as a special forces invasion.

North Korea’s cyber capabilities, an asymmetric warfare option for a small, hostile power, are improving rapidly, as the North is believed to be behind multiple global attacks. North Korea is believed to have thousands of cyber warriors.

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