Indian nuclear plant hack is only one small part of a much 'bigger' operation, according to a cybersecurity expert

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is the largest nuclear power station in IndiaBCCL

  • India's Kudankulam nuclear plant was hacked by North Korean malware last week.
  • The code behind the hack suggests that the cyber attack was only a small part of a much bigger operation, according to a cybersecurity expert.
  • ORF believes that hacking into India's nuclear power plant might only be a "prelude to something greater".
India's Kudankulam nuclear plant which faced numerous hurdles like protests and delays — is now facing a graver threat, three years after it started operations. Malware attacked its systems and the code suggests that it was only a small part of a much 'bigger operation'.

The hack of the India's nuclear plant definitely originated in North Korea, Choi Sang-myeong from the Seoul-based Issue Makers Lab told Asia Times. The country which is run by dictator Kim Jong Un is in the middle of global nuclear power controversy. And, India which has also been under US pressure over nuclear warfare assets — has a new problem to deal with.

As per Kaspersky, the malware is from the 'DTrack' malware family, which is normally linked to Lazarus Group. According to US intelligence, the Lazarus Group is a hacking collective composed of North Koreans.

North Korea shifts targets

In the past, North Korea has used their cyber attack capabilities to target civilians. Now they seem to be tasked with disrupting the operation of atomic plants or stealing proprietary information from them, according to Choi.

According to the Observer Research Foundation ( ORF), this act of cyber espionage might only be a "prelude to something greater".

The shift in North Korea now targeting nuclear facilities is an indicator of their growing cyber prowess. It also supports FireEye's — a private security firm based out of the US — claims from last year that the isolated nation is spreading its cyber attacks to infiltrate aerospace and defence companies around the world.

According to FireEye, North Korea "has expanded its operations in both scope and sophistication".

India's lax security standards may foil its attempts to use nuclear power as a sustainable source of energy in the future — especially if all it took was one malware link to penetrate the system.

See also:
WhatsApp confirms Indian activists and journalists were hacked as NSO claims it's 'contractually prohibited'

WhatsApp spyware Pegasus might have also hacked Bharti Airtel, MTNL, Hathway and others

The shadowy firm behind WhatsApp hack is involved in 100 other spyware attacks
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