The National Security Agency tried to infect a Stuxnet-variant virus to sabotage the nuclear plant of North Korea, but eventually it failed, reported Reuters.
Earlier, NSA launched a similar cyber attack campaign on Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010, jointly with Israeli forces. Anonymous U.S. Intelligence sources who were familiar with this covert campaign told Reuters that right around the same time of the year when US deployed the Stuxnet virus on Iranian nuclear program back in 2009 and 2010, NSA tried to launch a Stuxnet-style virus which failed to debilitate Korean plant.
According to the news, NSA designed the virus which would be enabled when accessed any computer settings in Korean language. Despite its high-end attempt of virus attack, NSA agents failed to access the core systems which were connected to the nuclear weapon program of North Korea. North Korean security system is widely marked for closed secrecy – so much so that any civilian requires a police permission to even buy and own a computer and even certain restriction is applied to Internet access. The one primary connection which is given to North Korea comes from China.
The United States has been deeply concerned about the strength and efficacy of the nuclear program of Iran and North Korea. Since NSA had already successfully disrupted the nuclear plant by allying with Israeli forces five years back, so their efforts to run the similar Stuxnet virus program on North Korea came as no surprise, reasoned Tim Erlin, the director of security strategy and IT risk of Tripwire, the computer security. He said that North Korea’s singular reliance on China’s internet connection seemingly barred NSA’s cyber attack efforts to attack and crack into the systems. As per Erlin, “they are simply harder to attack with precision cyber-weapons. There’s only one way in, and it’s well guarded. That isolation comes at great cost, of course, but it does provide this advantage.”