South Korean nuclear system hacked

News by Ava Fedorov

Days after the US blamed Pyongyang for hacking Sony Pictures, nuclear plant operator systems in South Korea have been reported breached—an incident that augments the increasing fears of hackers targeting key critical infrastructure. 

The hack resulted in the leak of personal details of 10,000 plant workers, designs and manuals for at least two reactors, electricity flow charts and estimates of radiation exposure among local residents, however there was no evidence that the nuclear control systems had been compromised.

South Korean officials confirmed that only “noncritical data” was leaked and confidently asserted that they could “fend off” further attempts to infiltrate their atomic facilities.

“A grave situation that is unacceptable has developed when there should have been not a trace of lapse as a matter of national security,” North Korean president, Park Geun-hye, stated at a cabinet meeting. “Nuclear power plants are first-class security installations that directly impact the safety of the people.”

In efforts to protect against “cyber-terrorism,” Park ordered a comprehensive inspection of South Korea's key national infrastructure as well as two days of complete safety drills at nuclear plants around the country.

The energy ministry and officials at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), a nuclear plant operator that is part of the state-run Korea Electric, made no mention of North Korea as a possible suspect.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Video and interviews