South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers that North Korea had recently stepped up cyber-attack efforts against the South and succeeded in hacking the mobile phones of 40 national security officials, according to members of parliament who received a closed-door briefing.
Earlier in the week, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service also said North Korea had tried to hack into email accounts of South Korean railway workers in an attempt to attack the transport system’s control system, although it said had interrupted the hacking attempt against the railway workers and closed off their email accounts.
South Korea has been on heightened alert against the threat of cyber-attacks by North Korea after it conducted a nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch last month, triggering new U.N. sanctions.
Tensions are also heightened on the Korean peninsula as South Korea and the United States conduct annual joint military exercises that the South says are the largest ever and on Sunday included the arrival in South Korea of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis.
The North denied South Korea’s previous accusation that it conducted cyber-attacks against the South’s nuclear operator.
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