South Korea says North may be behind nuclear plant cyber-attack; three workers later die in construction accident

Bloomberg reports: South Korea is investigating the possible involvement of North Korea in the recent hacking attack on its nuclear power network, Justice Minister Hwang Kyo Ahn said yesterday during a session of the National Assembly.

His remarks came after investigators said an IP address of a suspected hacker was traced to Shenyang city in China, a known location of North Korean computer experts, according to a report in the Chosun Ilbo newspaper today.

“We are investigating without ruling out the possibility that North Korea may be behind the attack,” Minister Ahn said.

The leaks of partial blueprints and operating manuals for South Korean reactors began last week on a blog and were later posted to a Twitter account under the profile “president of anti-nuclear reactor group.” The group also demanded Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., the nation’s nuclear plant operator, halt three facilities by today. The latest postings on Twitter were on Dec. 23. [Continue reading…]

The Associated Press reports: Three South Korean workers died Friday after apparently inhaling toxic gas at a construction site for a nuclear plant being built by South Korea’s monopoly nuclear power company, which has come under recent threats by hackers, a company official said.

The accident at the construction site in the southeastern city of Ulsan came as the state-run Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. was on high alert over a series of threats by hackers who claim they can disable the control systems of its plants. Choi Hee-ye, a company spokeswoman, said there was no reason to believe that Friday’s accident was linked to the cyberattack threats.

The victims were working at the construction site when they fell unconscious and were taken to a hospital, where they later died, Choi said. [Continue reading…]

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