SEOUL - North Korea has hacked into more than 140,000 computers at large South Korean conglomerates and government agencies and planted malicious codes that may have been intended for a massive cyber attack that has been thwarted, a news report said on Monday.
The hacking originated from an internet address traced to the North Korean capital and targeted a software used by about 160 companies and government agencies to manage their computer networks, Yonhap news agency reported, citing the police.
The internet address was identical to the one used in a 2013 cyber attack against South Korean banks and broadcasters that froze their computer systems for more than a week. South Korea blamed the North for that attack.
The South Korean police agency's cyber investigation unit uncovered the hacking and worked with the companies and agencies affected to neutralise the malicious codes and prevent them from being used in a large-scale cyber attack, Yonhap said.
The police's cyber investigation unit could not immediately confirm the report.