North Korean hackers reportedly infiltrated a computer network belonging to a South Korean aerospace firm’s computer network and made off with blueprints for the F-15 Eagle—the American-designed jet fighter that forms the backbone of the U.S. and South Korean air forces.
But don’t panic quite yet. There’s not much Pyongyang’s engineers can actually do with the blueprints. For sure, we won’t be seeing F-15s rolling out of some North Korean factory in the distinctive dark camouflage of the Korean People’s Air Force.
The hack began in 2014 and South Korean authorities first detected it in February this year, South Korea’s police cyber investigation unit told Reuters. In the meantime, the hackers gained access to the networks of two defense-industry conglomerates in South Korea and made off with some 42,000 documents.
Among the documents were blueprints for the wing design of the twin-engine, supersonic F-15, police told Reuters. Korea Aerospace Industries builds the Eagle’s wings under contract with Boeing, the No. 2 U.S. defense firm. Boeing has described KAI as a “valued supplier” (PDF).
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Image courtesy of KCNA/Reuters