North Korea Targeted U.S. Electric Power Companies [Video]

While the world is focused on the nuclear threat from North Korea, Pyongyang is already striking at the US in a different way: targeting its power grid, trying to infiltrate US electric companies and potentially cause havoc, NBC News has learned.

North Korea Used Email Malware in Attempted U.S. Cyber Attack.

Kim Jong Un has targeted the US power grid with cyber attacks against multiple electric companies trying to break in with emails containing malware, according to a private report by the cyber security firm FireEye obtained exclusively by the news channel.

There is no evidence that the hacking attempts were successful, but FireEye assessed that the targeting of electric utilities could be related to increasing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

FireEye has also documented cyber-attacks against South Korea’s military, its power plants, even aviation — all of them appearing to come from North Korea.

North Korea already attacked Sony three years ago in retaliation for “The Interview,” a Hollywood movie mocking Kim Jong Un.

Now experts warn they are developing the same techniques to attack broad sectors of the US economy.

“One of the things that worries us a great deal is the ability of the North Koreans to strike here in the heartland, particularly at the financial sector,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm.

Intelligence officials told NBC News it was North Korea that pulled off a brazen cyber heist of the Central Bank of Bangladesh, netting Kim Jong-un 81 million dollars (about 68 million euros).

The regime has embedded 6,000 cyber warriors in China, South Korea and other neighboring countries, according to a North Korean defector who spoke to the TV station.

“They (the North Koreans) want very much to have the capability to shut down our power grids, our utility systems, our banking, our air traffic control,” said Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence.

The US industry says North Korea has not penetrated the energy grid but they are on alert for a growing North Korea threat.

This story originally appeared on NBC News. Image courtesy of KCNA via KNS/AFP/Getty Images.

Join The Discussion

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
What Now For Japan After Abe’s Landslide Election Victory? [Video]
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
Tillerson Seeks Arab Help In US Effort To Isolate Iran [Video]
Alfonso Dastis
Spain Calls On Catalans To Respect Its Decision To Impose Direct Rule [Video]
The billionaire populist Andrej Babis
Trump-Style Billionaire Populist On Brink Of Power In Czech Republic [Video]
Bitcoin gold
What is Bitcoin Gold? [Podcast]
Bitcoin Pullback
Prepping For A Pullback? Bitcoin Price Drops Below $6,000
12 Predictions for the Future of Blockchain
12 Predictions For The Future Of Blockchain [Podcast]
Bitcoin Price
This Chart Shows Why Bitcoin Can Go Higher Than $6,000 [Video]
How To Use Emojis In Your Marketing [Podcast]
Eric and Neil Marketing School
7 Types Of Marketing That Are Long-Term Plays [Podcast]
The perfect blog post
The Recipe For A Perfect Blog Post [Infographic]
5 Low-Cost Ways to Get Started With Video Marketing
5 Low-Cost Ways To Get Started With Video Marketing
Jasmine Star
7 Tips For Service-Based Business Owners To Crush It On Social Media [Video]
Everything You Need To Know About Instagram Analytics
Everything You Need To Know About Instagram Analytics [Infographic]
Facebook’s Adding PayPal As A New Peer-To-Peer Payment Option In Messenger
Facebook Stories
5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Consider Facebook Stories For Pages
Self Discipline
14 Ways To Improve Your Self-Discipline [Inforgraphic]
Brain Hacks
Brain Hacks: How To Learn Anything Faster [Video]
Stand up
Stand Up And Get Moving! Do You Know Sitting For Too Long Can Kill You?
Which sleep pattern is right for you
Which Sleep Pattern Is Right for You? [Infographic]
Optimize Hashtags Using These 6 Tips [Infographic]
72 Essential Features of Every Successful Ecommerce Website
72 Essential Features Of Every Successful Ecommerce [Infographic]
How to make objective decisions
How to Make Objective Decisions [Infopraphic]
10 Tips to Avoid Camera Hacking
10 Tips to Avoid Camera Hacking [Infographic]