Hackers release more materials, renew threat

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Hackers release more materials, renew threat

A group of antinuclear hackers who threatened to shut down South Korea’s nuclear reactors last year publicized documents on Monday related to Korea’s nuclear authority as well as material defaming the chief of the National Security Council (NSC), warning that it would sell the country’s nuclear technology to enemy states if it was rebuffed.

Officials suspect the hacking ring is the same one responsible for a series of threats that began last December in which they threatened over Twitter to shut down the country’s nuclear reactors.

According to a team of local prosecutors in charge of the first investigation, the group has created a new Twitter account and resumed activities both through Twitter and on Tumblr, just four days after the anti-nuclear group’s Twitter account, “John,” was shut down on Thursday.

On a post titled “Anti-nuclear Group B’s Warning,” the group wrote that it was revealing illegal material concerning nuclear technology, which officials at the Blue House, the National Security Office, the presidential secretariat and National Intelligence Service (NIS), as well as officials from the Korean Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation (KNHP), had allegedly taken from the United States without U.S. approval.

These documents related to Korean nuclear technology included a report on the results and analysis of equipment detecting the radioactive element xenon, test results and future plans for two Hanwool nuclear reactors and the organizational diagram for a Hanbit nuclear reactor.

However, an official at KNHP, which operates both the Hanwool and Hanbit reactors, stated that the Hanbit reactor organizational diagram is “not confidential and has nothing to do with nuclear safety.”

The anti-nuclear hackers also said that if the South Korean government “acted foolishly,” it would be driven to reveal the entirety of the documents, which would spark a scandal similar in scope to the one involving the late construction tycoon Sung Wan-jong, who claimed before his death to have given illegal funds to President Park Geun-hye’s political allies.

Sung Wan-jong, the former chairman of Keangnam Enterprises, was found hanging from a tree on Mount Bukhan in April with a note in his trouser pocket listing the names of eight influential men, next to what appeared to be monetary sums he is alleged to have paid to some of them.

The hackers also published 10 documents related to presidential security adviser Kim Kwan-jin, including a Korean translation of a letter from former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen that was sent in January 2011 and a letter from an unknown source about Kim and other high-ranking Army officials’ lack of responsibility, which contributed to the murder of a young conscript in April 2014.

Four to five national intelligence reports were also published through the group’s social media accounts, including a document containing NSC preparation plans for when the president is overseas. The original investigation team has launched a new probe to locate the IP address from which the documents were uploaded.

BY LEE YU-JUNG [enational@joongang.co.kr]
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