North Korea Targeted US Electric Power Companies

Oct 12, 2017, 00:48
North Korea Targeted US Electric Power Companies

In a move expected to anger North Korea, the bombers took part in firing drills with South Korean F-15K fighter jets over waters to the east and west of the peninsula.

"Thus far, the suspected North Korean actions are consistent with a desire to demonstrate a deterrent capability rather than a prelude to an unprovoked first-strike in cyberspace; however, North Korea linked actors are bold, have launched multiple cyber attacks created to demonstrate national strength and resolve, and have little concern for potential discovery and attribution of their operations", FireEye researchers said in a blog.

Visits by USA warships and bombers along with regular joint exercises with the South infuriate North Korea, which considers them a sign of aggression and a rehearsal for an invasion.

There is no evidence that the hacking attempts were successful, but FireEye assessed that the targeting of electric utilities could be related to increasing tensions between the USA and North Korea, potentially foreshadowing a disruptive cyberattack.

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Documents including wartime contingency plans put together with the USA were stolen from South Korea's defence ministry.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images) North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un and other communist officials at an undisclosed location in North Korea in this picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency.

"FireEye devices detected and stopped spear phishing emails sent on September 22, 2017, to U.S. electric companies by known cyber threat actors likely affiliated with the North Korean government", the infosec outfit reported on Tuesday.

President Trump hosted a discussion on options to respond to any North Korean aggression, or, if necessary, to prevent Pyongyang from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons, the White House said in a statement.

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"There is an urgent need for the military to change and update parts that were stolen by North Korea", Lee said. Kim is the third generation of his family to rule North Korea.

While the attention Wednesday was on air power, upcoming US-South Korea naval exercises could further aggravate tensions.

About 235 gigabytes worth of military data was stolen by the hackers, Rhee told CNN. While early 80 percent of the documents had not yet been identified, they reportedly included contingency plans for South Korean special forces and information on military facilities and power plants, it said.

There is no evidence that the attacks were successful, and cybersecurity experts believe that North Korea lacks the ability to disrupt the power grid.

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