South Korea Fears North Amassing Army of Hackers
Malware a lot easier to make than nukes, experts note
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2013 2:37 AM CDT
A North Korean soldier works at a computer terminal under portraits of late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il inside the Grand People's Study House in Pyongyang.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

(Newser) – The massive cyberattack that hit South Korea last week may be just a taste of things to come as North Korea builds a team of "cyberwarriors," experts say. South Korean investigators have yet to prove that Pyongyang was behind the attack, but authorities in Seoul say Pyongyang has been behind at least six cyberattacks over the last few years and has been dumping resources into IT projects that include its own "Red Star" operating system, the AP reports. American and South Korean officials believe Pyongyang has recruited thousands of hackers, sending the best of them for training in China.

Experts note that creating malware is a far easier and cheaper way for North Korea to attack the West than building weapons of mass destruction—and with most ordinary North Koreans more concerned with getting enough to eat than with computing, there is little scope for retaliation. "North Korea has nothing to lose in a cyberbattle," a professor at Korea University's Department of Cyberdefense says. "Even if North Korea turns out to be the attacker behind the broadcasters' hacking, there is no target for South Korean retaliation."

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
jr3
Mar 25, 2013 9:41 AM CDT
Am I the only one surprised that North Koreans can afford computers?
19_56_19_55
Mar 25, 2013 8:19 AM CDT
You may not give N Korea enough credit. Just look at all the youngsters that hack in the free world every day China has more than enough to teach hackers. Don't over look any enemy or you may be doomed.
Imhotep
Mar 25, 2013 8:08 AM CDT
Sure , send them to China to learn how to hack into the West and steal information and disrupt the Internet. Isn't that the same China we do so much business with. The same China that has spies screwing military officers for information. The same China threatening Japans sovereinty.