Activists hack KHNP's computer systems

22 December 2014

Anti-nuclear activists have launched a cyber attack on Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), releasing employee information and various technical documents.  

From 15 December a group calling itself 'Who am I = No nuclear power' began releasing information it obtained from KHNP's computer system. The group claimed to be based in the US state of Hawaii, but South Korean media reports say officials have determined the group's location as within the country.
First to be posted online was personal information on 10,799 KHNP employees, and this was followed by technical documents. One was the MCNP5 Manual, which relates to the 'Monte Carlo' computer code used worldwide to model the transport of particles within a nuclear reactor core and which is neither proprietary or secret. Another was a technical document on the Candu reactor design, four of which operate at Wolsong. Candu Energy told World Nuclear News in an emailed statement that "while this incident is regrettable we see no basis for any threat to the Wolsong reactors as a result of this document being made public." WNN has not yet been able to confirm whether any of the other documents are secret or sensitive in terms of nuclear safety.

Hackers released their information on a blog on the Naver internet portal, which has since been removed by administrators. Details of the attack were first released by South Korean website Security News.

KHNP admitted the security breach today, asserting that hackers could never affect safety at a nuclear power plant. It said that nuclear safety would be maintained in any scenario by analog reactor protection systems capable of independently shutting the reactor down and maintaining safety.

According to Security News reports, the activist group has threatened to cause more damage to KHNP computer systems unless three reactors - Kori 1, Kori 3  and Wolsong 1 - are taken offline before 25 December. 

KHNP said it was training staff using simulations of cyber attacks.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News