North Korea has roughly doubled the number of hackers it employs to conduct cyber-attacks, South Korea’s Yonhap News said on Sunday.
The news agency quoted an unidentified military source as saying North Korea “appears to have” 5,900 personnel for cyber-warfare, up from about 3,000 people two years ago.
Yonhap didn’t disclose how its source had access to the current information.
The South Korean government often uses anonymous leaks to put intelligence regarding North Korea into the public domain. It sometimes uses similar leaks to disclose false or unverified information for political purposes.
But the annual report to Congress on “Military and Security Developments Involving the DPRK” is also a lot more cautious in blaming North Korea for a series of recent cyber attacks that have targeted South Korea.
Unlike the statements and reports that comes from the South Korean government, the North’s capability to launch attacks isn’t even stated as a certainty by the DoD.
“North Korea probably has a military offensive cyber operations (OCO) capability,” it says in More >
The South Korean government says it suspects hackers in North Korea were behind a series of cyber attacks last month.
The attacks took place on June 25, the anniversary of the beginning of the Korean war, and continued for several days. When they began, several South Korean government and private-run websites were defaced or taken offline.
The main evidence behind the South’s accusations was the discovery of an IP address linked to North Korea and similarities in software code between the June 25 attack and previous attacks, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, said Tuesday.
IP addresses are unique numeric identifiers More >
A hacking group called “DarkSeoul” was behind some of this week’s attacks on South Korean websites, according to researchers at computer security company Symantec.
The company says the group was responsible for denial of service attacks on South Korean government websites and can be directly linked to similar actions in the past.
“We can now attribute multiple previous high-profile attacks to the DarkSeoul gang over the last 4 years against South Korea, in addition to yesterday’s attack,”Symantec said on its Security Response blog. “These attacks include the devastating Jokra attacks in March 2013 that wiped numerous computer hard drives at South Korean banks and television broadcasters, as well More >
Tuesday’s series of denial of service attacks on major North Korean websites caused delays and frustration for legitimate users but doesn’t appear to have been as large or successful as the first round of attacks in late March and early April this year.
Analysis by NorthKoreaTech.org of data related to the attacks shows the so-called “OpNorthKorea” mission was most successful during its first few hours and then appeared to slowly tail off.
Denial of service attacks involve firing off requests for pages to websites. If enough requests can be sent, the site ends up overloaded and no one gets anything. Success of More >
The previously announced June 25 attack on North Korean websites by hackers working under the “Anonymous” name took an unexpected turn on Tuesday when several South Korean sites were hit with attacks. The actions coincided with the release of what hackers said were stolen files on American military personnel.
The North Korean attack did start as scheduled and appears to have been initially successful. Most major North Korean websites are either inaccessible or difficult to access, indicating they are being hit by a denial of service attack. This involves overwhelming a web server with requests so it gets tied up and More >
Members of the international hacking collective Anonymous look set to launch a planned cyber attack on North Korean Internet properties at midnight local Korean time on Monday night.
The group has also promised to make public some details of documents gained from a claimed attack on North Korean internal servers.
In messages posted to Twitter on Monday, Anonymous members indicated the countdown for the next stage in their “OpNorthKorea” series of attacks is unchanged.
The exact nature of the attacks is not known, but Anonymous typically uses denial of More >
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has attacked claims by international hacker collective Anonymous that it managed to steal North Korean military secrets from computer servers. The attack came in a commentary on Friday, just days before Anonymous plans to launch a cyber-attack on North Korean websites.
Earlier this week, a Twitter user claiming to represent Anonymous hackers said the group had managed to infiltrate North Korean servers on the country’s domestic intranet and access sensitive information.
A Twitter user claiming to speak on behalf of the Anonymous hacker collective says members of the group have succeeded in breaking into North Korean computer servers and stealing military documents.
“Previously we said we would penetrate the intranet and private networks of North Korea. And we were successful,” the group wrote in a news release posted on Pastebin, a website that allows anonymous posting of text documents.
“Your major missile documentation and residents, military documents show down is already in progress. Your attempt to cover More >
A weekend attack on North Korean websites staged by members of the Anonymous hacker group appears to have caused some problems for the sites.
Connections to several major Pyongyang-based sites, including the Korean Central News Agency and Voice of Korea, were slow although successful in several tests done in the first few hours of the coordinated attack, which began at 1am GMT on Sunday.
Those results are in contrast to a previous series of attacks that took the sites offline for days. That difference was acknowledged by an Anonymous Korea Twitter message:
North Korea has reconfigured its Internet connection since the last round More >