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South Korea accuses North of Phish and Ships attack

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) has warned North Korea is attacking its shipbuilding sector.

“Security recently reported that North Korea has targeted our shipbuilding companies to strengthen its naval military power,” explained [PDF] the intelligence agency, via machine translation.

According to the alert, the attacks were launched in August and September, with phishing emails sent to maritime industry employees and IT contractors. As ever, clicking on the mails deployment of malicious code.

NIS suggested the attacks were likely at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s direction as he wants inteligence that will help his Navy build medium to large ships.

The hermit kingdom’s leader reportedly declared last month he wanted to “set forth an important modernization” of the Pukjung Machine Complex – a facility that produces marine engines, and to alter “the development direction of the shipbuilding industry.”

NIS has warned the relevant companies, and warned that attacks on the industry are expected to continue on shipbuilders and component manufacturers.

Kim Jong-un’s tyrant cabal reportedly succeeded with similar tactics in 2017, when South Korean warship and submarine builder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) allegedly sufffered theft of warship blueprints.

In other news from the Peninsula, South Korean and US authorities are monitoring North Korea to determine if it has halted nuclear reactor operations at its Yongbyon nuclear complex. Intelligence has detected signs that electricity production has stopped, which may indicate North Korea is reprocessing spent fuel rods in an attempt to recover plutonium for weapons. ®