North Korean hackers have stolen hundreds of sensitive military documents from South Korea, a local news reported on Wednesday citing government sources.
Among the stolen data were classified wartime contingency plans jointly drawn by the United States and South Korea, when they breached the computer network of the South Korean military last year, a South Korean lawmaker said.
Another plan included the South Korean military’s plan to remove the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, referred to as a “decapitation” plan, should war break out on the Korean Peninsula, the lawmaker, Rhee Cheol-hee, told reporters.
Mr. Rhee, a member of the governing Democratic Party who serves on the defense committee of the National Assembly, said he only recently learned of the scale of the North Korean hacking attack, which was first discovered in September last year.
It was not known whether any of the military’s top secrets were leaked, although Mr. Rhee said that nearly 300 lower-classification confidential documents were stolen. The military has not yet identified nearly 80 percent of the 235 gigabytes of leaked data, he said.
The local news stated that authorities acknowledged in May that their computer network had been subject to an attack, but claimed the data theft had not been serious.
In the past year, South Korea has accused neighbouring North Korea of hacking government websites on multiple occasions.
Pyongyang, however, denied the allegations.
A Defense Ministry spokesman, Moon Sang-gyun, refused to comment on Mr. Rhee’s disclosure.
A spokesman for the Pentagon, Col. Robert Manning, would not discuss if the hack had occurred, repeating, when pressed, that he would not “discuss the specifics” of the incident.