back to article South Korea’s nuclear research agency breached by North Korea-affiliated cyberattackers, says malware analyst group

South Korean officials have admitted that government nuclear think tank Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) was hacked in May 2021 by North Korea’s Kimsuky group. The Korean news outlet that broke the story has accused KAERI of a cover-up. Malware analyst group IssueMakersLab said in a report that it detected an …

  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Still a work in early progress in need of greater fundamental fettling

    That machine translation highlights the abiding problem with such facilities/utilities ..... less than perfect permits faulty information a foothold in circles providing it analysed as intelligence to be either ignored or acted upon, which are the only two real options to be considered. Both are less than future helpful.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Still a work in early progress in need of greater fundamental fettling

      it's a tad disingenuous to quote "working-level staff" when you are really quoting Google translate.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Still a work in early progress in need of greater fundamental fettling

        Traduttore, traditore.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Why is North Korea connected to the Internet ?

    NK is a rogue state. It is completely untrustworthy and its citizens have no access without special authorization.

    Ergo, the only Norks connected to the Web are likely nefarious and up to no good. Who maintains their Internet connection and why is that not just cut off ?

    I am well aware that that would be an extreme measure, but we're talking about North Korea, not Russia. North Korea is a wart on the world diplomatic map. The sooner it collapses under the weight of its own incompetence, the better.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Why is North Korea connected to the Internet ?

      They have a couple of connections to China by land and a sat link provided by Russia but that may actually be running through leased space on IntelSat.

      You could block their allocated IP addresses but that won't stop them doing their stuff proxying through random Chinese and Russian IPs then and then on through other proxies. I can't see either China or Russia taking steps to block a State who attacks "the West" and causes disruption, just so long as the Norks don't do it to their gateway hosts (or at least not enough to piss them off.

    2. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Why is North Korea connected to the Internet ?

      The US has most to loose if the Internet is split along national lines.

      We may live to see that.

      When Google is strictly profit creaming US enterprises and contributes zero to the balance of payments you will hark after the old days.

      1. Jan 0 Silver badge

        Re: Why is North Korea connected to the Internet ?

        Google Translate's gaffes, like "The group — which also goes by Velvet Chollima, Black Banshee, and Thallium" is only encouraged by the likes of this post.

      2. Halfmad

        Re: Why is North Korea connected to the Internet ?

        Even if split along national lines it will be trivial to link up a PC to that national "internet" and remotely access it via satellite etc even if there is no physically connection to do so - which there would be anyway thanks to telephone lines.

        Even if there's an entirely different networking technology underlying it there will always be a way around it

    3. A Nother Handle

      Re: Why is North Korea connected to the Internet ?

      Because they often work from within China. The BBC podcast 'The Lazarus Heist' has been an eye-opener.

  3. _LC_ Silver badge
    Stop

    Our weekly propaganda bring us on Monday, please!

    Sure this wasn't Iran, Russia or China?

    Thanks to the US, a fuckhead "hardliner" has won the elections in Iran, just like they wanted. Whenever there was a moderate government, which did well for the people, the US intervened and brought their fuckheads (the ones who scream "Death to America!" the loudest) back to power.

    With NK they are doing the same - ensuring that their stooges are being kept in power.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Our weekly propaganda bring us on Monday, please!

      The difference is that Iran is the enemy of our client states and a big bunch of voters

      N Korea is just an annoyance

  4. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    Let's get hacked

    I'd install a few servers around a country and maintain data and accounts so that when the institutions get hacked there's an advantage ...

    Document the creation of a new nuclear fission where a combination of materials can be created in a way that delays the actual fission reaction depending on the half-life of an undocumented new material, causes an apparent non-radio-active material to detonate after a few weeks. Documents would show that this is being used to create "spare car parts" and other mechanical engineering items that the NK is importing.

    Add some documents that appear to be Kim's stolen medical record showing that he's only got a year left to live.

    Create a large amount of PDF files that appear to show Wikileaked secrets but actually install malware on any PC with a Korean, Russian, or Chinese keyboard.

    So when the servers are hacked we'll see Kim's backside as he runs away.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vulnerability in a VPN..

    This is part of my gripe against the advertisements for VPNs, I am a huge fan of them - but the methods they use to advertise include dodgy statements such as constantly stating that they are secure, don't log, can be trusted etc - this leads to a false sense of security amongst businesses and the public at large.

    1. claimed

      Re: Vulnerability in a VPN..

      Safe as houses.

      Safe enough for most.... but safe? What is safe?

  6. debater

    Employ them?

    I wonder if one possible strategy for tackling the---apparently talented---hackers who pull off these hacks is to offer to employ them? I suspect we (the NATO countries) could offer them more money than their current employers, as well as slightly better conditions of employment (e.g. a reduced threat of the loss of appendages for suspected disloyalty). Just a thought.

    1. _LC_ Silver badge

      Re: Employ them?

      There's only one small problem with this. The past has tought us that they already work for “NATO”. ;-P

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