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South Korean Nuke Plant Begins Cyber Attack Drill

South Korea’s nuclear power plant operator began a two-day cyber attack drill today as China made a non-commital response to US concerns about an online attack on Sony Pictures that is being blamed on North Korea.

The exercise, which began on Monday, was conducted at the country’s four nuclear power plants, according to Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), which supplies around a third of the country’s electricity, AFP said.

“The two-day drill is under way through simulators to ensure the safety of our nuclear power plants under cyber-attacks,” KHNP spokesman, Kim Tae-Seok, is quoted as saying.

The report claims an alleged hacker posted details on Twitter of designs and manuals for two reactors alongside the personal information of 10,000 KHNP staff.

That person apparently threatened to release more sensitive information if the company didn’t shut down three of the 23 reactors it operates in the country from Christmas Day.

The news follows US president Barack Obama’s admission over the weekend that a destructive malware attack on Sony Pictures last month was carried out by North Korea.

The FBI had already blamed the hermit nation for the attack, claiming that the malware used in the campaign was similar to that used in the DarkSeoul assault on TV stations and banks in the South Korean capital last year.

China has predictably reacted with caution to Washington overtures to help it counter the online threat from Pyongyang.

The Kim Jong-un regime has reacted by denying any involvement in the attacks but praised the "guardians of peace" – the group which claimed responsibility for the campaign against Sony Pictures.

“What is grave is that U.S. President Obama is recklessly making the rumor about ‘DPRK's cyber-attack on Sony Pictures’ a fait accompli while crying out for symmetric counteraction, strict calculation and additionally retaliatory sanctions,” the Korean Central News Agency said.

“This is like beating air after being hit hard. A saying goes every sin brings its punishment with it. It is best for the guilty to repent of its evil doings and draw a lesson when forced to pay dearly for them.”

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