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Hackers claim to post details of US troops online in South Korea cyberattack

Hackers claim to have released the personal information of more than two million South Korean ruling party workers and 40,000 US troops.

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The US Army's M1A2 tank and soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team of 2nd infantry division and South Korean soldiers from 6th Engineer Brigade participate in a river crossing exercise on May 30, 2013 in Yeoncheon-gun, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/AFP/Getty Images)

Hackers who mounted a cyberattack on the South Korean government claim to have leaked personal information about tens of thousands of US troops.

The cyberattacks, which disabled access to government and news sites, coincided with the anniversary of the start of the Korean War in 1950.

Reuters cited South Korean news reports that the hackers — suspected by some to be working on behalf of North Korea — claimed to have released the personal information of more than two million South Korean ruling party workers and 40,000 US troops.

While it was unclear what information about US troops might have been posted, the Times reported that the Pentagon’s definition of personal data includes names, birth dates and Social Security numbers.

However, Pentagon spokesman Air Force Lt. Col. Damian Pickart would only concede that:

"The department is currently investigating reports that the personal information of US forces was compromised in recent cyberattacks against [South] Korea."

The Washington Times cited South Korean security firm NSHC as the first to report the hacking.

The attacks, from hackers claiming to belong to Anonymous, placed pro-North Korean messages on South Korean websites — though the international collective denied any involvement. 

Shortly afterward, Anonymous launched a series of attacks on North Korean sites as part of its ongoing "OpNorthKorea" targeting the country's repressive regime.

More from GlobalPost: South Korea on cyberattack alert as sites shut

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/130627/north-korean-hackers-us-military-cyberattack