Friday, December 18, 2009

Hackers Nab South Korean-US Military Defense Plans

Via -

South Korea's military says it's investigating a hacking attack that netted secret defence plans with the United States and may have been carried out by North Korea.

The suspected hacking occurred late last month when a South Korean officer failed to remove a USB device when he switched a military computer from a restricted-access intranet to the internet, Defence Ministry spokesman Won Tae-jae said.

The USB device contained a summary of plans for military operations by South Korean and US troops in case of war on the Korean peninsula. Won said the stolen documents were not a full text of the operational plans but about an 11-page document used to brief military officials.

Won said authorities have not ruled out the possibility that Pyongyang may have been involved in the hacking attack by using a Chinese IP address - the Web equivalent of a street address or phone number.

The Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported, citing the January edition of its sister magazine Monthly Chosun, that hackers used a Chinese IP address and that North Korea is suspected of involvement. The Monthly Chosun cited South Korea's National Intelligence Service and Defence Security Command.

Yonhap news agency also reported the hackers used a Chinese IP address. It said the North's involvement was not immediately confirmed, also citing military officials it did not identify.

Officials at the NIS - South Korea's main spy agency - were not immediately available for comment.

The US stations 28,500 troops in South Korea to deter any potential North Korean aggression. The two Koreas have remained technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

"As a matter of policy, we do not comment on operational planning or intelligence matters, nor would we confirm details pertaining to any security investigation," said David Oten, a spokesman for the US military in Seoul.

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