SKorea military networks under growing cyber attack
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) June 16, 2009
South Korea's military computer networks are under ever-growing cyber attack with 95,000 cases reported daily on average, officials said Tuesday.
The Defence Security Command said in a report to a security forum that every day the military counters an average of 10,450 hacking attempts and 81,700 computer virus infections in addition to other cases.
The attacks increased 20 percent this year compared to 2008, it said.
A spokesman for the command told AFP most of the attacks are the same as ordinary people experience at home, but one-tenth are serious.
"Eleven percent of the total are sophisticated and vicious attempts to hack into military servers and to gather intelligence," the spokesman said.
The command did not elaborate where the cyber attacks originated. Defence officials in Seoul have previously pointed to North Korea and China, which they say run elite hacker units.
Yoo Ho-Jin, an official of the National Intelligence Service, said his agency recently proposed that the president name an aide to deal with cyber-security.
"Our country continues to be vulnerable. Some of our government branches failed to function when we recently simulated a cyber-attack on them," Yoo told a security forum on Tuesday, according to Yonhap news agency.
"This is a grave threat to our national security."
South Korea and the United States in April agreed to cooperate to defend their defence networks from countries including China and North Korea.
Last year South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo warned his cabinet against what he called attempts by Chinese and North Korean computer hackers to obtain state secrets.
That is significant. And needs to be watched.
On a side note; my roomate asked me on the likelyhood of him being re-activated. He asked this after asking about NK. I told him 30% chance atm....he asked why, so I explained to him what has been going on the last couple weeks. He looked at me and said "Shit, I need to get back in shape"
(edit) was incomplete.
Hm. I think I am going to forward that article to our IT guys. My division is pretty insignificant, but the company I work for I know has government contracts.
A little more background from last April...
North Korea Poised for Cyber Salvo
North Korea warned the United Nations Security Council on April 7th, 2009 that it would take "strong steps" if the fifteen nation body took any action in response to Pyongyang's launch of a long-range rocket three days earlier. The United States voiced its displeasure calling the launch a "provocative act" that violated a 2006 Security Council resolution prohibiting Pyongyang from conducting ballistic missile launches.
On April 13th, 2009 the United Nations Security Council in a "Presidential Letter" condemned North Korea's April 5th rocket launch and demanded that Pyongyang not conduct further tests, saying that it would expand existing sanctions against North Korea. The 15 member Security Council voted unanimously for the statement by the council's president demanding the country make no more launches. This response was one level below a formal resolution.
On April 17th, 2009 Washington increased pressure on North Korea by warning of "consequences" for its recent rocket launch and the latest decision to kick out nuclear inspectors. A State Department spokesperson said that "North Korea has not listened to the will of the international community, and therefore it's going to have to face the consequences from its unwillingness to meet the international community's requirements."
North Korea quickly responded saying any sanctions or pressure to be put upon it as a declaration of undisguised confrontation and a declaration of a war against the DPRK. The North Korean spokesman reportedly said, "There is no limit to the strike to be made by the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK." North Korea has reacted to the criticism with more than just words. They expelled all nuclear weapons inspectors and declared that they will resume work on nuclear weapons.
Most military strategist agree that cyber attacks are an excellent first strike weapon. In these specific circumstances, cyber attacks might be considered by Pyongyang as an appropriate and proportional response to the U.N. Security Council's condemnation and reinforcement of existing sanctions. High probability targets if DPRK launches cyber attacks include South Korea and the fifteen countries that make up the current U.N. Security Council that include –– permanent members-China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States –– and ten non-permanent members Austria, Japan, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Mexico, Croatia and Turkey. This calls for increased vigilance by cyber security professionals guarding the critical infrastructure of those targets identified above.
North Korean Cyber Capabilities Estimate:
Force Size: 12,000 declining
Cyber Budget: $56+ million.
Goal: To increase their military standing by advancing their asymmetric and cyber warfare capabilities.
Experience: Hacked into South Korea and caused substantial damage; hacked into the U.S. Defense Department Systems.
Threat Rating: North Korea is ranked 8th on the cyber capabilities threat matrix developed in August 2007 and updated February 2009.
Cyber Intelligence/Espionage: Basic to moderately advanced weapons with significant ongoing development into cyber intelligence.
Offensive Cyber Weapons: North Korea now has the technical capability to construct and deploy an array of cyber weapons. They have moderately advanced distributed denial of service (DDoS) capabilities with moderate virus and malicious code capabilities. Hacking capabilities are moderate to strong with an experience rating of limited to moderate.
Things are definitely a tad warm.