North Korean hackers suspected to have targeted US electric power companies

President Trump has "lit the wick of war", North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho says.

North Korea's been tied to data breaches before, including the infamous 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in retaliation for its release of "The Interview", a comedy about an assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Five South Koreans have fled China to avoid the possibility of abduction to North Korea, an official from Seoul's Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

"So as owners with rights to the assets, it is necessary for us to check the situation and status of our assets and find out whether the complex is really being operated or not", said Kim Seo-jin, with the Kaesong Industrial Complex Association. Ri added that North Korea's "army and people are persistently demanding to settle the final score with the Americans with a fiery hail, not words".

Pyongyang has denied responsibility for the cyberattacks in its state media, criticising Seoul for "fabricating" claims about online attacks.

When Kaesong was shut down in 2016, the conservative government of then President Park Geun-hye claimed 70% of the $100 million in wages paid each year, which was given directly to the government in Pyongyang to distribute to the workers, was diverted to finance the North's illicit nuclear weapons program.

Rhee Cheol-hee, a member of the ruling Democratic Party in South Korea, said hackers stole a blueprint for "Operations Plan 5015" among other things.

North Korea has yet to comment on either the bombing drills or the hacking claims.

Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm, told NBC News in August: "We've been worried for some time that one of the ways that North Korea can retaliate against further escalation of tensions is via cyber, and particularly attacks against our financial sector". He also boasted that his nation has almost achieved a "balance of force" with the U.S.

US Air Force Major Patrick Applegate said: 'Flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea and hones the tactical prowess of each nations' aviators'.

Trump slammed more than two decades of U.S. policy toward North Korea on Twitter on Monday, saying past action to quell the crisis "didn't work".

Australia expects North Korea will continue with its provocative behavior in the near future, "but the stronger the international community's response is. the less options North Korea would have", she also said. He once served in the U.S. Air Force.

There is no evidence that the attacks were successful, and cybersecurity experts believe that North Korea lacks the ability to disrupt the power grid.

  • Leon Brazil