Operational Plan 5015 — which is understood to include a detailed strategy for the 'decapitation' of the North Korean leadership in the event of full-scale war — was among the intelligence stolen.
North Korea may have learned of an assassination plot targeting Kim Jong-Un and obtained current war plans after suggestions it hacked the South Korean military’s intranet in September last year.
South Korean lawmaker Rhee Cheol-hee said hackers stole a 235GB cache of sensitive US-South Korean documents. Operational Plan 5015 — which is understood to include a detailed strategy for the ‘decapitation’ of the North Korean leadership in the event of full-scale war — was among the intelligence stolen.
According to South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo, the hackers obtained the documents in August and September last year from the Defence Integrated Data Centre. The South Korean Defence Ministry had previously claimed nothing of significance had been leaked.
Originally it only listed 53GB worth of the stolen data, about 10,700 documents or 22.5% of the total amount. The Ministry is yet to comment on the revelations.
On top of the assassination strategy, it is believed the leaked documents include a contingency plan for the Special Warfare Command, personnel reports of US and South Korean officers, and minutes of high-level meetings discussing military drills.
“This is a total failure of management and monitoring [of classified information],” Shin Jong-woo, a researcher at the Korea Defence and Security Forum told the Financial Times of the hacks.
While North Korea denies any involvement, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports that Seoul has been subject to a barrage of cyber attacks by its communist neighbour in recent years, with many targeting government websites and facilities.
The Kim Jong-Un regime is believed to have specially-trained hackers based overseas, including in China.