South Korean defense contractor Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. has been allegedly hacked by North Korea, according to the local military counter-intelligence service.
The naval warship builder allegedly suffered a security breach on April 20, although no details regarding its severity or consequences have been offered to the press. South Korean officials have started investigating the incidents and claim North Korea could be responsible for the cyberattack.
“After identifying signs that Hanjin Heavy Industries may have been hacked on April 20, the Defense Security Command is currently leading a security investigation into whether any military secrets were leaked and whether North Korea was involved,” according to official sources. “North Korea could have been involved, but we are not absolutely sure at this stage.”
While North Korea is believed to have a highly skilled hacking team, the intrusion on Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. could have led to exfiltration of sensitive data, especially since the company is responsible for the latest frigates and amphibious assault vessels.
This is not the first security incident for South Korean contractors, as last year both LIG Nex1 and the Agency for Defense Development reported breaches. Both were tasked with building the AESA radar system, technology responsible for “allowing ships and aircraft to broadcast powerful radar signals while still remaining stealthy.”
While details of the hack have yet to be released, South Korean investigators are seeking to assess whether any military secrets have been compromised.