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Maker of South Korea's KF-21 indigenous fighter hacked, reports say

Maker of South Korea's KF-21 indigenous fighter hacked, reports say
Korea Aerospace Industries, maker of indigenous next-generation fighter KF-21, said it has requested an investigation into a possible hacking incident, according to South Korean press reports Wednesday. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE

June 30 (UPI) -- South Korea's government-owned aerospace company has requested local authorities to investigate a possible hacking incident of North Korean origin, according to local press reports.

Korea Aerospace Industries said Wednesday that the firm has requested police to conduct a probe into a "suspected hacking" that took place Monday, Newsis and JoongAng Ilbo reported.

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"We will do our best to disclose all facts by actively cooperating with investigators," KAI said. "We regret causing concern among the public because of this incident, and make every effort to strengthen security for the future."

Rep. Ha Tae-kyung of the main opposition People Power Party confirmed Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration reported a cyberbreach.

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The South Korean lawmaker said that it is "highly likely" that the blueprints for the country's new KF-21 "Hawk" indigenous fighter was stolen during the cyberattack.

According to Ha, the breach took placed around the same time the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute was hacked.

"It is highly likely that Kimsuky, a group of hackers under the Reconnaissance General Bureau of North Korea was behind the breach," Ha said, according to local paper JoongAng Ilbo.

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South Korea's KF-21 is the first indigenous fighter to replace aging F-4 and F-5 fighters. Also known as the KF-21 Boramae, meaning hawk in Korean, 120 of the new fighters are expected to be deployed by 2032.

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Seoul held a rollout ceremony for the new fighter in April in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, where President Moon Jae-in was in attendance.

Moon described the fighter is part of a "historic milestone" in the development of Korea's aviation industry.

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In December, Kimsuky was linked to a fake online site designed to fool employees at South Korea's Yonsei University Health System, according to Dong-A Ilbo.

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