North Korean hackers have stolen classified blueprints for warships and submarines, it has been claimed.
They accessed and stole roughly 40,000 documents after penetrating the computer systems of Daewoo Shipbuilding last year, according to a South Korean politician who attended an intelligence briefing.
Kyeong Dae-soo, a member of the main opposition party in the National Assembly, was informed of the hack by the South Korean Defence Ministry and other military agencies.
Among the reportedly stolen information was roughly 60 classified documents describing weapons systems and test data for submarines and destroyers.
Mr Kyung said: “We are almost 100% certain that North Korean hackers were behind the hacking and stole the company’s sensitive documents.”
A spokesperson for Daewoo Shipbuilding said they were unaware of the breach until Tuesday and were attempting to confirm the politician’s claims.
The information could be used as part of war preparations by the regime in Pyonyang as tensions continue to rise in the peninsula, with President Donald Trump dismissing negotiations as “a waste of time”.
New sanctions following North Korea’s most recent nuclear test will hamper its ability to legitimately import gas and oil from China, but the nation retains an ability – and an increasing interest – in generating enormous revenues through cybercrime.
North Korea’s secretive government bureau, Office 39, has been increasingly active under Kim Jong Un, engaging in cyber espionage as well as in revenue-generating criminal activities.
Kim has continued to drive towards the development of a nuclear weapon capable of being fitted to an intercontinental ballistic missile which could reach the US mainland.