N Korea Hacks US-South Korea War Plan Documents

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Pyongyang: Hackers in North Korea reportedly have stolen a large cache of military documents from South Korea. The stored data which was hacked by North Korean hackers include the latest Washington-Seoul wartime operational plan as well, a ruling party lawmaker said on Thursday.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry did not comment on the alleged hack, which reportedly occurred in September 2016 but was only revealed Tuesday. Rhee Cheol-hee, a lawmaker in South Korea, confirmed the data breach to the BBC. The hack consisted of 235 gigabytes of military documents and about 80 percent of what was stolen hasn’t been identified.

Citing information from unnamed defence officials, Democratic Party Representative Lee Cheol-hee said the hackers broke into the Defence Integrated Data Centre in September last year to steal the secret files, such as Operational Plans 5015 and 3100, Yonhap news agency reported.

Lee Cheol-hee said that 235 gigabytes of military documents were taken with the content of nearly 80 per cent of them yet to be identified. Also among them were contingency plans for the South’s special forces, reports to allies’ top commanders, and information on key military facilities and power plants, he added.

“The Ministry of National Defence has yet to find out about the content of 182 gigabytes of the total (stolen) data,” Lee said. In May, the Defence Ministry’s investigation authorities said that the communist state was thought to be behind the hacking of the military’s key online network. They did not reveal what data had been taken at the time.

Pyongyang is suspected of having expert hackers attack South Korean government websites and facilities for years. North Korea has accused its neighbor of “fabricating” the claims, the BBC reported.

News of the hack comes amid increasing tensions in the region. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday said the U.S. has “military options that [President Trump] can employ if needed.”

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