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Government Politics

North Korean Hackers Stole U.S.-South Korean Military Plans, Lawmaker Says (nytimes.com) 110

North Korean hackers stole a vast cache of data, including 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 Tuesday (alternative source). From a report: One of the plans 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.
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North Korean Hackers Stole U.S.-South Korean Military Plans, Lawmaker Says

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  • using IE 6 for everything...

  • Then I see a far larger problem here. Seems to me they are _not_ prepared.

    • actually it is impossible for south to fight north without capital seoul, which is well within north's artillery range, getting destroyed and million getting killed within minutes. north has a huge well entrenched artillery advantage just because of that.

      so whenever you hear warmongering talk from usa, check the south korea media to see how people in seoul are responding to same news, if they are not worried, all the warmonger talk is just talk, not serious. probably aimed at american audience for some political reason.
      everyone knows this, but american media pretends as if all the warmongering talk is real.

      • In a normal US administration that would be true, but Donald Trump is relaying on Twitter to give direction to his own secretary of state I wouldn't count on such policy during the current administration. In the past all US administrations had promised to consult SK before undertaking any attack against the north for the very reason you listed. I have no faith that the current administration would react in the same manner.

        Yes most of Seoul would be destroyed in such a war but NK would likely lose very quick

        • One can assume that the Chinese military also talks about how it might send a million men south. Again.

          • The only way to know for sure what the Chinese intend is to read their party magazines which have been floating the idea for over a year that a unified Korea under the South's leadership isn't a huge problem as they'll be able to bully the south into doing what they want. See if there was no NK there would be no reason to have the US troops and assets there and China would be able to make that point to SK very well given how entwined their economies are at this point. In fact given the hostility to US troop

            • >NK is a much a threat to Russia as it is to everyone else.

              How do you figure? Contrary to the media portrayal, Kim's not stupid or crazy, for all his posturing to keep himself in power (internal politics requires him to publicly play the strong man to keep the populace in line and maintain his position and life). And Russia and China are the closest things he has to allies.

              NK is a major conventional threat to SK, particularly Seoul. Might not win a war, even without outside intervention, but their art

              • "Really, there's only one nuclear-backed madman on the world stage to worry about, and he's right here in the good old US of A."

                Thankfully, our armed forces aren't triggered by tweets.

                • Right. He'd have to pick up the phone to do that - he is still the supreme military authority. And we can hope the soldier on the other end wouldn't obey his orders. The soldier with his hand on the trigger has averted global nuclear war a few times already by refusing to obey orders.

      • Yes, I started checking KT (Korean Times, oriented to (or by?) the govt), and another one more oriented to biz, I forget the name. I am reassuring my family that WWIII is not upon us, so I wanted to back up my assurances with information from ground zero^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H the local indigenous personnel.

        I spent a bit of time in Korea in another life and remember things that Big Kimmy would say (and do), and Grandpappy Kimmy would say (and do). Threatening to shoot down a bomber is relatively mild. And, s

    • Or maybe they are well prepared, and want North Korea to know it. After all, there's not much deterrent value to being secretly able to win a war.

      • These plans were stolen over a year ago. Considering events since then, does North Korea seem deterred?
        • by Megol ( 3135005 )

          How could we tell? Blustering and aggressive bullshitting is the standard PR from NK. It's like trying to determine if someone is friendly when threatening to only rape you after you're dead... ;)

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Or alternatively, they were stolen because of gross incompetence. I know which scenario is much more likely...

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          The entire US war industrial complex knows all this crap is a scam to generate profits, hence they have not the slightest qualm about selling any information that anyone wants to buy, makes no real difference except to their offshore bank account balance. Easiest way to transfer the information out in bulk, allow a hack to occur, done and finished. They pay for that hack ie millions of dollars and suck as much information as they can out of it, the more they get, the more they will pay for the next hack. Th

      • by Megol ( 3135005 )

        NK know well that there are several current decapitation plans - because that's obvious unless the SK military/politicians were absolute incompetent!

        The US probably have plans how to invade Switzerland if it would ever come to that, just as they had plans to nuke Finland.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @04:08PM (#55345429)
    It's one page that reads "Drop lots and lots of bombs".

    Seriously. It's North Bloody Korea. They can barely keep their army fed let alone fight a war with our nation. NK is a hostage situation. As soon as we move they start slinging rockets at South Korea because their leadership knows every last one of them is going to hang.
    • That was the old plan, circa 1950. The new is just one page that says "Keep stalling them until they fall apart, even if it takes 500 years"

    • by rainer_d ( 115765 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @05:14PM (#55345799) Homepage

      Sure, they'll go down. They know this.

      But they'll also make sure to take as many Yanks and South Koreans with them as possible. And iif you consider they had 70 years to dig themselves in, you'll realize that the prize will be very, very high.

      They have 15k artillery canons within a couple of dozens of km from Seoul. And they're not sitting in an open field. They're sitting in armored tunnels drilled into a granite mountain.

      The only way to take those down is to throw a couple of really big nukes. And then you also take out Seoul at the same time.

      • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @08:04PM (#55346733)

        Artillery in tunnels like that is actually pretty easy to destroy with a missile, guided bomb or a fuel air bomb that can suck the air out of the tunnel. Reinforced tunnels like that haven't been secure for 30+ years when they developed the first bombs to take them out. And by they I mean everyone, pretty much every major military has the weapons to take out hardened bunkers like that, even Israel bought them after the last war with Hezbollah.

      • Sure, they'll go down. They know this.

        Yeah, like they did in the Korean war, the very war which caused the whole "North Korea" and "South Korea" instead of just "Korea".

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        North Korea's plan will involve China. China doesn't want US troops on its border. It doesn't want millions of NK refugees flooding in. If the war turns hot, China's response will be a key part of the NK plan.

        That's one reason why nukes are out. Nuking NK will result in the US being nuked in retaliation, so basically WW3.

        NK must also be factoring in SK's strong desire to avoid the very large number of casualties and massive damage that would result. It doesn't so much matter if the artillery is ineffective

  • by thegreatbob ( 693104 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @04:17PM (#55345471) Journal
    I wonder how they managed to download 235GB of data while it was still remotely relevant.

    Goes back to work imagining a datacenter full of hungry people trying to eat the dial-up modems...
    • Text as hi-res images pasted into PPT files?

      • Seriously though, I assume it's many pages of typing machine written documents, scanned and saved as .TIFF files.
        Probably something like 20-25K pages of shit.

        • Probably something like 20-25K pages of shit.

          ...laid out on a table, photographed, then faxed to NK.

  • The US wants to let the North Korean's know that there will be 'fire and fury' ( and that the US really means it ) so they let their 'war plans' slip to put the fear of GOD into 'little rocket man'.

  • What plans? (Score:4, Funny)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @04:29PM (#55345529)

    What plans? You mean, if North Korean attacks, bomb them back to the Stone Age - meaning, "last week".

    • No, actually they have some pretty modern weapons... Just no roads to move them around or fuel for the trucks they are on.

      Their air defense network is pretty good, being built from hand me down, hand me downs they purchased from the Russians paying with fish and held together with left over bailing wire. It will be good as long as they don't actually try to use it.

  • plan to remove the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, referred to as a "decapitation" plan

    "Hey fatass! I know how you can lose 10 pounds real quick!"

    • I hope dRumpft is listening, he could definitely lose 10 lbs at least. Maybe then he could get it up without a handful of viagra.

  • There is a new American administration and there are new plans. Obama's plans were probably just kicking the can down the road, like every President since the 1950s.

    Plus, even if they did happen to steal legitimate plans, who is to say that they were "allowed" to steal them? We can read the "Art of War", too. :)
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      An Operation Mincemeat https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] got started by one part of the smarter parts of the US mil.
      Another part of the US gov desperate from some cyber action told the waiting media about the US cyber skills in action seeing plans "moving" down the internet tubes.
      The US gov is now so big its spying on its own tubes and different sections are desperate for bigger budgets and good cyber news stories.
      One good hidden mil plan becomes a contractor race to tell the media.
  • by WrongMonkey ( 1027334 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @04:39PM (#55345593)
    This hack took place just before the US election in November 2016. Which puts a different context to all rocket test launches that have happened since then. It suggests North Korea isn't just rattling sabers at an untested administration. They might actually have a larger scale plan.
    • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @04:51PM (#55345655) Homepage Journal

      This hack took place just before the US election in November 2016. Which puts a different context to all rocket test launches that have happened since then. It suggests North Korea isn't just rattling sabers at an untested administration. They might actually have a larger scale plan.

      I'm probably being dense here, but... can you be more specific about what is suggested or what might be their plan, instead of the innuendo?

      Innuendo is good when everyone is on the same page and the circumstances suggest something obvious, but I'm not getting it here.

      Right before the election, Hillary was the overwhelming favourite to win. Trump's win couldn't have been reasonably predicted, so how could the "timing" of the data incident lead to the larger scale plan?

      I would expect such a tremendous upset (the election) would cause NK to *change* their plans. Development and deployment of missiles doesn't happen overnight, so...

      What does this suggest? Can you be more specific?

      (Could it also be a crime of opportunity? Where some NK hacker "got lucky" and grabbed the data without being a targetted, planned and orchestrated event?)

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        North Korea's plan is to develop a nuclear defence capability and thus ensure they are not invaded by the US.

        Trump has been assisting them with this through his threats and name calling, and general weakness. It's given NK more justification to protect themselves, forced China and Russia to warn the US to back off, and further weakened Trump because he can never follow through on his threats of violence.

        Everyone is taking maximum advantage of Trump. NK, Russia, China, the EU, even Mexico...

If you fail to plan, plan to fail.