Is It Time To Take North Korea’s Cyber Weaponry Seriously?

by | Oct 11, 2017 | Headline News | 13 comments

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    Analysts say cyber capabilities have become a key asset in North Korea’s war chest. Pyongyang’s increasingly bold attacks in the virtual space have come in tandem with the hermit nation’s rapidly progressing ballistic missile and nuclear programs and some say that it’s time this is taken very seriously.

    The rogue regime has used cyber attacks for a wide range of purposes including hacking adversaries like South Korea and pilfering money. North Korea’s hackers have been accused of carrying out some of the most audacious cyber attacks of the past few years, from siphoning millions of dollars to stealing state secrets.

    “North Korea’s cyber weapons are as destructive as its conventional weapons,” Lim Jong-in, a cybersecurity professor at Korea University, told CNN. “Tomahawk missiles can paralyze a major country’s power grid and financial system. So do North Korea’s cyber weapons.” Lim continued, saying: “Cyber experts say North Korea should be ranked among the top 5 in the world. I believe North Korea can steal anything they want through cyber espionage. No country is safe from its cyber espionage.”

    In the latest revelation, a member of the South Korean ruling party said Tuesday that North Korea stole classified military documents from a South Korean Defense Ministry database in September 2016. They included a document that included plans to “decapitate” the North Korean leadership.-CNN

    But that isn’t all. Cybersecurity firm FireEye said Tuesday that it detected and stopped an attack on US electric companies by people with links to the North Korean government. The skill of these hackers is actually impressive considering they live in a country where the internet is heavily regulated by the government. The citizens living under Kim Jong-Un’s dictatorship only have access to a government-run, heavily censored intranet rather than the full depths of the world wide web. Yet those restrictions have not stopped the hackers from improving their abilities.

    “North Korea almost certainly has the capability to conduct disruptive and potentially destructive attacks, as well as more traditional cyber espionage operations,” Bryce Boland, the chief technology officer for Asia-Pacific at FireEye, told CNN. “North Korea has little connectivity and relatively limited reliance on technology, making it less vulnerable to attacks,” he said.

    In February 2016, $101 million was fraudulently transferred out of the Bangladesh central bank’s account at the New York Federal Reserve and eventually made its way to the Philippines. Researchers found that the hackers responsible for the theft carefully routed their signal through France, South Korea, and Taiwan to set up their attack server, but made a critical mistake that established a connection to North Korea. Nonetheless, most of the funds have not been recovered.

    Analysts also say that North Korea has been preparing similar operations targeting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as international sanctions make it harder for North Korea to use the dollar.

    North Korea’s advancements in their weapons is concerning enough, but add in the actual real threat of a cyber attack, and we could experience a major disruption to our way of life.


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      1. And to think they are doing all this using their state-of-the-art Commiedore64s and Windows ME as the OS! Impressive!

      2. questions:
        1. is NK really capable of hacking us with inferior technology?
        2. could it be another country with a more advanced capability posing as NK (Russia, China, etc)?
        3. is one of NK’s allies helping them? (see number 2)
        4. is US lying about these hacks to provide more reason to eventually attack NK?

      3. The FAT, gay clown of North Korea is really cruising for a bruising so to speak. The time has come to take care of this sack of shit once and for all!

      4. My guess would be, the CIA would love to blame NK for hitting
        our grid. They are trying to dispose of all records and financial
        An EMP would wipe out financial records, “Oh darn, must be NK.
        So solly……so, so solly.”
        Kim is a little fat bully who talks big. Constitution says we don’t
        attack others unless we are attacked first. (CIA is first suspect)
        Kim surely knows he will be blown into the next world if he does.

        Our Pres. needs to defund, and imprison the CIA…..the “Criminal
        Intel Agency”.

      5. That was a pretty old computer in the first photo.

        “The Compaq brand remained in use by HP for lower-end systems until 2013 when it was discontinued.”

        Of course, what matters is the skill of the hacker. It doesn’t matter how the computer is, as long as it can get online. Because of eastern European programmers, you can get DOS software that will do almost anything you can do with Windows. They have DOS browser and more.

        • Hacking us with coal-fired computers. LMFAO.

          • I have a wind-up radio with AM, FM, and shortwave bands.

            There is a thermal generator gadget that you can put on your heater (coal, wood, gas) and power your laptop.

            So yes, they could hack us with coal-fired computers. Really.

      6. We can mock the NK’s; but, consider that his, the magnificent fat one’s, current IT/hackers must do their tasks or face being blown to smithereens by anti-aircraft guns, torn to shreds by dogs or worse. And…. not just them; but, generations of their families. Hell, I don’t care if they’re using old 386 processors and Windows 3.1 – they’re going to do what they can and we need to go with care and not fall under a spell of complacency.

      7. If we ask him nicely, he will put down his weapons and join our “happy go lucky” global community ….

      8. It’s likely that NK computers, despite being old, run a home-grown version of Linux. You can get Linux to run on almost anything. A version of it runs your Android-based phones and stripped-down versions run your Internet home router.

        They wouldn’t use DOS as that is completely obsolete, although Windows command line is still based on DOS. But that is irrelevant as the Windows OS is way past DOS. A lot of malware today is based on Windows PowerShell which replaces the basic command line shell with something more akin to the UNIX/Linux BASH shell.

        Most computer security software runs on Linux via the BSAH shell command line. So NK’s computers can probably run computer penetration software just fine.

        They would, however, need some up-to-date Windows machines in order to develop malware on them that would run on modern machines. That wouldn’t be hard to acquire.

        Nonetheless, NK’s hacking abilities shouldn’t be overrated, if for no other reason than they have fewer hackers than China, Russia or most other nation states. OTOH, you don’t need many. A few thousand would be more than enough. But that doesn’t compare to the estimated 300,000 private Chinese hackers.

      9. I’ve seen mountains of those same machines at the electronics recycling place. All the best hackers are using 80s technology.

      10. NK is a complete bogus diversion story. Whoever believes it delivered to you by MSM has a mental capacity of the 3rd grader. Ignorant masses continuesly presented with a buggy man which keeps them in fear and abidient. Classic case of 1984. Think about it!

      11. The North Koreans get plenty of help from their trade partners in China, Canada and Europe and also receive significant technology, knowledge and money transfers from the United Nations (the UN does this via Macau). This has gone on for the last two decades. They have state of the art computer knowledge and also connections to hackers.

        North Korea can easily jack into the global financial system and fund itself that way. North Korea is not an African country: they are smart, focused and strategic.

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