Tag: north korea

Worm found at nuclear control system

Shin Kori nuclear power plant, South Korea: Wikimedia CommonsA South Korean company was hit by what authorities described as a low risk computer worm.

The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co was hit by a hack earlier this month and data stolen from its system.

But the South Korea energy ministry said today that the control systems for three nuclear reactors were unaffected by the hack, according to a Reuters report.

The energy minister told the South Korean parliament that the worm was most likely transmitted to the computer systems by an infected USB device – a claim that some have their doubts about.

The CEO of Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power told the parliament that all of the country’s reactors were invulnerable to viruses and worms.  But nevertheless he said that the firm was hiring more IT security staff to be on the safe side.

Some people believe that North Korea is behind attacks on South Korea computer installations.  The two countries are still technically at war with each other.

North Korean unternet went dark

2014040401712_0North Korea experienced a complete unternet outage for hours before links were restored this morning.

At the moment it is unclear what caused the country’s internet to go dark – it could have been a technological glitch or a hacking attack. The US government denied that it was involved in any cyber action against Pyongyang in revenge for attacking its paymasters in Hollywood recently.

US President Barack Obama had vowed to respond to the major cyber-attack on Sony, which he blamed on North Korea, “in a place and time and manner that we choose”,

North Korea’s internet links were unstable on Monday and the country later went completely offline.

South Korea, which remains technically at war with the North, also had a motive. It recently revealed that a nuclear power plant operator had been hacked, probably by North Korea.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said the leak of data from the nuclear operator was a “grave situation” that was unacceptable as a matter of national security, but she did not mention any involvement of North Korea.

Most North Korean’s would have been unaware that the internet was broken. Very few of its 24 million people have access.

Almost all its Internet links and traffic pass through China. North Korea is dependent on a single international provider, China Unicom.

Apparently the United States asked China to shut down servers and routers used by North Korea that run through Chinese networks.  It also asked them to identify any North Korean hackers operating in China and, if found, send them back to North Korea. It wants China to send a strong message to Pyongyang that such acts will not be tolerated.

If the Chinese had switched off the internet for a few hours to send a message to North Korea they did not tell anyone about it.

In Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said while it opposed all forms of cyberattacks and that there was no proof that North Korea was responsible for the Sony hacking.

Anonymous prepares to launch banned Sony movie

o-ANONYMOUS-facebookAfter Sony refused to release “The Interview” because of pressure from a hacker group, it seems Anonymous is furious.

The hacker group has decided that since Sony is bowing to the will of hackers to pull the film, it will release it, itself.

Of course Sony is not happy about this, which Anonymous will be pleased about, but the question is why would one hacker collective rain on another’s parade.

Part of this appears to be because Anonymous does not think that “Guardians of Peace” who managed the Sony raid are true hackers.  They believe that the hacker group is a tool of the North Korean government.

Hackivism is one thing, but when you are hacking on behalf of a government you have broken the rules.  But according to the tweets, Anonymous is cross that Sony caved in so easily to the GoP demands and banned the film.

“Okay, for real though. @SonyPictures is a little bitch for giving in so easily. Then again, what do you expect from Sony other than that?”

“You’re gonna let Kim Junk Uno and his minions boss you, a multimillion dollar corporation responsible for billions of dollars in revenue?”

Anonymous claims that it infiltrated Sony’s systems long before North Korea and it was going to release the film “as a Christmas present.”

“We’re not with either side, we just want to watch the movie too…and soon you too will be joining us,” the group tweeted.


North Korea causes US to surrender

Kim Jong Un, courtesy of North Korea news agencyWhen it comes to winning a war which does not involve flinging bullets at the enemy, flying high tech-drones, or cruise missiles, it seems that the US is hopeless.

After the FBI identified that the Sony hack was caused by North Korean cyber warriors who were miffed about a comedy film which involved North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Sony immediately surrendered and pulled the flick “The Interview” from distribution.

This followed the fact that five theatre circuits in North America have decided not to play Sony’s The Interview.

Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment have all decided against showing the film.

“Due to the wavering support of the film The Interview by Sony Pictures, as well as the ambiguous nature of any real or perceived security threats, Regal Entertainment Group has decided to delay the opening of the film in our theatres,” Regal said.

Cinemark also confirmed Wednesday that the chain had determined that they would not exhibit the film “at this time.” In addition, Cineplex, which is based in Canada, said it had decided to “postpone” the movie, with a spokesman saying, “Cineplex takes seriously its commitment to the freedom of artistic expression, but we want to reassure our guests and staff that their safety and security is our number one priority.”

It seems that the hackers managed what Kim Jong-un’s rocket threats, and artillery shelling could not – the complete surrender of US forces.

Sony had refused to back down from its plans to release the film, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, on December 25. Instead, in discussions with exhibitors, it told the exhibitors it was up to them whether or not they played the movie and that Sony would support whatever decision they made.

However, clearly, the distributors were terrified of the North Koreans and any stiff upper lip was above a loose flabby chin.

What this means, of course, is that Kim’s Cyber Warriors will be back. After all, if you have a weapon which can bring the United States to its knees that easily, you will use it. Sony would have been better off running the film and telling everyone it was a matter of patriotic pride to show North Korea who really was boss.  Apparently running screaming like a four year-old girl from a guy in a clown mask is US defence policy now – clearly following the role model given by the French who helped found the country.


Sony gets hacked again

wargames-hackerReports said that Sony has come under a fresh cyber attack following the break in which crippled Sony Pictures two weeks ago.

The Financial Times reported that the PlayStation store was downed earlier today for a couple of hours.

A gang that dubs itself the Lizard Squad has claimed that it is responsible for the hack – and the attack may be nothing to do with the Sony Pictures incident – blamed by some on North Korean hackers.

The Lizard Squad made a similar attack on Microsoft’s Xbox Live service last week, according to the FT.

North Korea said yesterday that it wasn’t responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures, as we reported elsewhere today.

Sony is so far unable to say whether the latest hack attack has resulted in personal or corporate information being stolen.

North Korea not involved in “righteous hacking”

Kim Jong Un, courtesy of North Korea news agencyNorth Korea has denied it was involved in the hacking of Sony, but indicated it considered it a “righteous deed” and owed the hackers a drink.

North Korea was jolly cross that Sony Pictures was producing a film that depicts an assassination plot against Pyongyang’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un.

While denying responsibility for an attack last week that disrupted Sony’s computer system and spewed confidential information onto the Internet, an unidentified spokesman for the North’s powerful National Defence Commission acknowledged that it “might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathisers” of the North’s call for the world to turn out in a “just struggle” against US imperialism.

The statement claimed that North Korea did not know where in America the Sony Pictures is situated and for what wrongdoings it became the target of the attack.

“But what we clearly know is that the Sony Pictures is the very one which was going to produce a film abetting a terrorist act while hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of North Korea.”

The Kim family has ruled for three generations, and sees any outside criticism or mockery of its leader as an attack on its sovereignty.

The movie “The Interview,” is a comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, and its plot concerns an attempt on the life of leader Kim Jong Un and Pyongyang does not find the idea funny.

“The United States should know that there are a great number of supporters and sympathisers with North Korea all over the world as well as the `champions of peace’ who attacked the Sony Pictures,” the statement said.

“The righteous reaction will get stronger to smash the evil doings.”

North Korea behind Sony hack – reports

Kim Jong Un, courtesy of North Korea news agencySuspicions that hackers working for the Democratic Republic of North Korea were behind the hack attack on Sony Pictures last week appear to have been verified by US investigators.

Both Bloomberg and Reuters claim to have talked to individuals who are part of the investigation that have outlined their suspicions.

They believe that the malware is ripe with Korean hacking code and bears distinct similarities to hacks on South Korean banks in March last year.

The attack on Sony Pictures computers caused widespread disruption and resulted in the theft of company information, personal data and even some forthcoming movies, which appeared on unternet sites earlier this week.

North Korea is furious about a film called The Interview which describes an attempt by two journos to assassinate the country’s autocrat, Kim Jong Un (pictured, with two military folk).

North Korea claims the release of the film later this month should be regarded as an act of war.

Sony still reeling from cyber hit

North Korea flagCyber attackers who hit Sony with a new breed of virus have caused the corporation so much grief that it is still attempting to recover from the damage.

Reuters has seen an internal Sony memo that said the entertainment unit has admitted a large amount of confidential data was stolen by the attackers, ranging from business info to personal data.

Proof of the success of the attack has emerged with unreleased Sony films emerging on the internet including a forthcoming musical called Annie, scheduled for release on the 19th of December.

And employees have been given new PCs to work with because the virus wiped all the data from their old ones and made them inoperative.

Reuters said it believes the attack only affected machines using Microsoft’s Windows software – Apple machines were impervious to the attack.

North Korea is still believed to be one of the main suspects in the attack – last June the government of the autocracy complained to the UN that a thinly veiled satire on its youthful leader was an outrage.

FBI warns of more North Korean cyber attacks

USmilitaryOUTThe Untouchables have warned businesses that North Korean hackers are using malicious software to launch a destructive cyberattack in the United States.

The alert appeared to describe the one that affected Sony, which would mark first major destructive cyber-attack waged against a company on US soil. Such attacks have been launched in Asia and the Middle East, but none have been seen in the United States. The FBI report did not say how many companies had been victims of destructive attacks.

Analysts think that the attack is a watershed event and that politics now serve as harbingers for destructive cyberattacks.

The five-page, confidential “flash” FBI warning issued to businesses last night provided some technical details about the malicious software used in the attack. It provided advice on how to respond to the malware and asked businesses to contact the FBI if they identified similar malware.

The malware overrides all data on hard drives of computers, including the master boot record, which prevents them from booting up.

“The overwriting of the data files will make it extremely difficult and costly, if not impossible, to recover the data using standard forensic methods,” the report said.

The document was sent to security staff at some U.S. companies in an email that asked them not to share the information.

The FBI released the document in the wake of last Monday’s unprecedented attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which brought corporate email down for a week and crippled other systems as the company prepares to release several highly anticipated films during the crucial holiday film season.

A Sony spokeswoman said the company had “restored a number of important services” and was “working closely with law enforcement officials to investigate the matter.”

The FBI said it is investigating the attack with help from the Department of Homeland Security. Sony has hired FireEye’s Mandiant incident response team to help clean up after the attack, a move that experts say indicates the severity of the breach.

Hackers used malware similar to that described in the FBI report to launch attacks on businesses in highly destructive attacks in South Korea and the Middle East, including one against oil producer Saudi Aramco that knocked out some 30,000 computers. Those attacks are widely believed to have been launched by hackers working on behalf of the governments of North Korea and Iran.

Sony may have been targeted by North Korea for releasing a film called “The Interview”.

The movie, which is due to be released in the United States and Canada on Dec. 25, is a comedy about two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The Pyongyang government denounced the film as “undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war” in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June.

The FBI report said some of the software used by the hackers had been compiled in Korean, but it did not discuss any possible connection to North Korea.