The South Korean intelligence agency, the National Intelligence Service (NIS), has issued a warning to shipbuilders regarding hacking attempts believed to be linked to North Korea’s efforts to build military vessels.
The NIS on Wednesday said it detected multiple hacking attempts by North Korean hacker groups targeting prominent South Korean shipbuilders between August and September.
These hacking attempts involved various methods, including attempting to gain unauthorized access by targeting the shipbuilders’ IT maintenance contractors and distributing malicious code through phishing emails sent to shipbuilders’ employees.
The NIS suspects that these concentrated hacking attacks may be in response to Kim Jong-un’s recent orders to modernize North Korea’s navy, including the construction of warships.
In August, Kim made his first visit to North Korea’s naval headquarters since assuming leadership and instructed the navy to modernize its weaponry and equipment.
He also called on the navy to take a proactive role in sudden armed conflicts or war.
In September, Kim visited military factories in North Pyongan Province.
According to North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim emphasized the importance of military factories, specifically the Pukjung Machine Complex, in enhancing North Korea’s shipbuilding industry and strengthening its naval forces.
“Noting that the complex is playing an important role that no others can replace in developing the shipbuilding industry of the country and strengthening the naval forces of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un put forward the revolutionary policy on ushering in a new era of the shipbuilding industry to the complex,” KCNA reported.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]