S Korean minister downplays nuclear facility ‘worm’

Malware found in plant’s non-critical systems, less than a month after data theft at same facility

Tags: Cyber crimeKorea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) (cms.khnp.co.kr/eng/weblink)South Korea
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S Korean minister downplays nuclear facility ‘worm’
By  Stephen McBride Published  December 31, 2014

South Korea's energy minister has reassured the country's National Assembly that a digital worm found at a state-run nuclear power plant is no cause for alarm and not connected to another breach earlier this month, online media reported.

Yoon Sang-jick told an Assembly hearing that the newly discovered malware was likely the result of carelessness on the part of an employee at the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP).

Earlier this month a cyber-breach at the same facility resulted in the theft of non-sensitive data, such as building schematics and employee information.

Although Yoon stressed that neither attack posed any threat to command-and-control systems, some state officials have expressed concern over plant security.

"I doubt control systems are perfectly safe as said," Conservative politician, Lee Jung-hyun, told the hearing.

Following the earlier incursion, KHNP pledged to beef up cyber protection measures, add new IT security staff and establish a review committee made up of internal and external specialists.

"We will prepare fundamental improvement measures by enhancing nuclear power's safe operation and hiking information security systems to the highest level following this cyber-attack case," the utility said in a statement.

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