I am not sure that I would put North Korea as the 3rd most effective nation at cyberoperations, one must consider the amount of resources that China can bring to bear on the problem and experience that Israel has in the field, but I would certainly put them in the top 10.
|North Korea's abilities to wage a devastating cyber war are behind only those of the United States and Russia, after the isolated nation has devoted more than thirty years toward development and research, a South Korean expert has claimed..|
By Walter Hickey, Jun. 8, 2012, 11:02 AM
All that prep is finally paying off for the North Koreans.
That declaration, by information security professor Lee Dong-hoon, comes in the wake of two weeks of devastating attacks on GPS signals which interfered with signals throughout the Korean peninsula.
The GPS jamming, which was carried out unabated by North Korea's Reconnaissance General Bureau, were carried out from April 28 to May 13, Stars and Stripes reported. That agency is quickly becoming the bane of the world's cyber-defense industry.
The Reconnaissance General Bureau is the overseer of all North Korean sabotage and espionage operations, and has been recruiting and training a generation of cyber warriors. The bureau has developed a nurturing mentality toward information disruption specialists, creating one of the most dominant digital warfare groups on the planet.
They've made a culture of hacking.
The Bureau has units devoted to cyber attacks on the South Korean military, propaganda dissemination across the greater internet, and hacking operations.
This isn't the first time they've landed successful hits, not by a long shot. In 2009, South Korean military sites suffered a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, an cyber strategy wherein a group of antagonists bombard a target website with such a volume of hits and requests that the site is knocked down, rendering it unusable for people who actually need it. That attack, likely carried out by Pyongyang Computer Technology University, knocked out 26 South Korean and foreign governmental websites.
But this latest attack had sweeping, real-world impacts.
The latest hit, against the GPS signal in South Korea, cause national disruption and confusion in air traffic control and maritime transit. Moreover, the North Korans have been devoted to hacking South Korean defense systems, and their dedication is still causing problems.
The South Korean military remains woefully unprepared for mounting counterattacks in this active cyber war. They don't even have a cyber unit, training, or command, and what they do have in the information security sector amounts to recruits from telecom colleges. With them up against an adversary with a culture of cyber war ingrained in their strategy, on their own the South Koreans are woefully out-gunned on that front.