• Eyal Pinko

South Korean Shipbuilder DSME Under a Third Cyber Attack

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), a South Korean shipbuilder and defense contractor, revealed it conducts an investigation into a probable breach of its network. However, DSME reported that no defense information had been compromised in the current cyber attack, despite being the third hack into its networks in the last.

The shipbuilder claimed it discovered hacking attempts on its systems on October 25 and submitted the incident report to the authorities for further investigation. There had been multiple speculations about a probable security intrusion on an unknown attacker in recent days before a leak in the media over the weekend quoting an unnamed government source that listed DSME as the target.

In June, DSME asked the police for help in investigating a possible cyberattack on its systems. According to the South Korean media, North Korea or China are the suspects for those attacks, pursuing information and knowledge relating to DSME's nuclear-powered submarines research and development.

The commissioning and delivery of South Korea's first domestically made submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles were completed by DSME in August 2021.

South Korea's defense systems and navy rely heavily on the shipbuilder, notably the attempt to design and build the country's first nuclear-powered submarine.

The South Korean authorities declined to offer details about last week's incident, as they did last June. A combined inquiry has been undertaken by the national security and defense organizations.

It's unclear whether any of those three cyberattacks were effective in gaining access to sensitive data. However, it was revealed in 2017 that hackers believed to be from North Korea or China had obtained 40,000 documents from the DMSE network and 60 naval design documents. They were thought to be looking for information on the country's submarine projects, but they also beached critical material about the US Aegis Class warships.

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