Hackers linked to North Korea recently targeted U.S. electric power companies with spearphishing emails, NBC News reported, citing a private report by the cybersecurity company FireEye.

The hackers’ emails were invitations to a fundraiser that contained malware, the FireEye report said.

NBC said there was no evidence that anyone managed to hack into the power grid.

“This is a signal that North Korea is a player in the cyber-intrusion field and it is growing in its ability to hurt us,” C. Frank Figliuzzi, a former chief of counterintelligence at the FBI, told NBC.

Meanwhile, a South Korean lawmaker said yesterday that North Korean hackers may have stolen highly classified military documents that include U.S.-South Korean wartime “decapitation strike” plans against the North.

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Rep. Lee Cheol-hee, a lawmaker for South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party, cited unidentified defense officials as saying North Korean-linked hackers stole the plans last year. Defense officials refused to comment.

If confirmed, such a hack would be a major blow for South Korea at a time when its relations with North Korea are at a low point. The South has taken an increasingly aggressive stance toward the North’s belligerence amid back-and-forth threats of war between North Korea and President Trump.

Among the classified plans allegedly stolen from the South were said to be blueprints for targeted attacks by Seoul and Washington to eliminate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if a crisis breaks out or appears imminent. Kim is the third generation of his family to rule North Korea.

The South’s Yonhap news agency quoted Lee as saying that 235 gigabytes of military documents were taken. While nearly 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.

Yonhap said South Korean defense officials said in May that North Korea may have hacked a crucial South Korean military online network but didn’t say what was stolen.

Seoul says North Korea has repeatedly staged cyberattacks on South Korean business and government websites. North Korea routinely denies responsibility.


(c)2017 the Boston Herald

Visit the Boston Herald at www.bostonherald.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.

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