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South Korea Nuclear Plant Was Hacked, Operator Says

SEOUL — Computer systems at South Korea’s nuclear plant operator have been hacked, but only non-critical data has been lost and there is no risk to the safety of nuclear installations including the country's 23 atomic reactors, the company and the government said on Monday. The attacks come amid concerns that North Korea may mount cyberattacks after accusations by the United States that Pyongyang was responsible for a devastating hacking assault on Sony Pictures.

South Korea's energy ministry said it was confident that its nuclear plants could block any infiltration by cyber attackers that could compromise the safety of the reactors. "It's our judgment that the control system itself is designed in such a way and there is no risk whatsoever," Chung Yang-ho, deputy energy minister, told Reuters by phone. An official at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co Ltd (KHNP), the nuclear plant operator that is part of state-run Korea Electric Power Corp, told Reuters that the hacking appeared to be the handiwork of "elements who want to cause social unrest."

"It is 100 percent impossible that a hacker can stop nuclear power plants by attacking them because the control monitoring system is totally independent and closed," the official said. Neither Chung nor the KHNP official made any mention of North Korea.

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— Reuters