clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hackers are blackmailing a South Korean nuclear plant

New, 20 comments
Handout/Getty Images

Today, workers at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power got some alarming news. The agency that operates South Korea's nuclear power plants had suffered a data breach, and hackers were leaking the data onto the open web, threatening to release even more damaging info if the agency didn't shut down three reactors in the coming days. So far, none of the data has been particularly sensitive or well-protected, suggesting that the scope of the breach was relatively minor, but the agency is responding with a two-day safety drill to ensure its systems remain safe. The agency has no plans to comply with the attackers' demands.

According to The Guardian, the leaks first appeared on a Hawaiian anti-nuclear group's Twitter, and there's no reason to think North Korea is involved in the attack. Still, it suggests a troubling trend toward using leaked data as material for blackmail, the same tactic that has terrorized Sony in recent weeks. KHNP officials emphasized that the country's power plants were controlled by closed and independent systems, so it would be impossible for an attacker to access them remotely. "There is no risk whatsoever," the deputy energy minister said in a statement.