The Chosun Ilbo
Dec. 18, 2009
Suspected North Korean hackers may have gained access to a war plan
devised by South Korea and the U.S. in preparation for an emergency,
including details of specific operational scenarios, intelligence
According to the January issue of the Monthly Chosun published Friday,
the National Intelligence Service and the Defense Security Command in
mid-November discovered that an officer with the Korea-U.S. Combined
Forces Command had used an unsecured USB memory stick and in that
process some contents of the plan, dubbed OPLAN 5027, contained in his
PC was accessed by a hacker with a Chinese IP address.
The DSC carried out sweeping security checks after the Monthly Chosun
reported in November that the military Internet network had been
breached by a North Korean hacking unit, and that in the process the
agency confirmed that OPLAN 5027 had been hacked.
The monthly in November reported that North Korean hackers stole
information from the Chemical Accidents Response Information System
built by the National Institute of Environmental Research under the
Ministry of Environment after infiltrating the Third Army headquarters'
computer network and using a password to access CARIS's Center for
Chemical Safety Management.
OPLAN 5027 is the CFC plan formulated in preparation for a preemptive
strike or provocation by North Korea. Commander of the U.S. Forces Korea
Gen. Walter Sharp has recently said a new joint draft operational plan
has been worked out to replace OPLAN 5027 ahead of the transfer of full
operational control of Korean troops to Seoul. But one retired general
pointed out that the new joint operational plan will be based on OPLAN
5027. "Our conceptual framework has been laid bare if it's true that
OPLAN 5027 was leaked," he said.
Based on No. 110 Research Center under the North Korean Army General
Staff's Reconnaissance Bureau, the North Korean hacking unit has an
impressive staff, range of operations, technologies, and overseas
branches. There is speculation that 500-600 hackers are working in North
Korea, including the Ministry of State Security.
Kim Heung-kwang, a former professor at Pyongyang Computer Technology
University, said, "We have information that the North Korean hacking
unit will soon attack the computer network in South Korea, which could
throw databases of financial institutions, the Military Manpower
Administration and hospitals and other institutions into chaos."
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