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Seoul to train 5,000 infosec pros

South Korea employs just 200 today despite ongoing NORKS attacks

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The South Korean government is planning to train up 5,000 information security experts to address the growing threat from Pyongyang and a shortage of home-grown talent.

The science and technology ministry said that the shortfall of information security professionals in the country currently numbers 1,749, rising to an expected 2,144 next year, according to Wall Street Journal.

The government will therefore be co-ordinating an ambitious attempt to train up thousands of experts over the next couple of years to bulk out staff numbers of just 200 at present.

The ministry is apparently also forecasting that information security-related industry will be worth 10 trillion won (£5.9bn) by 2017 - double its current value.

Seoul has come under increasingly frequent and serious online attacks of late with defence minister Kim Kwan-jin claiming last month that its northern neighbour has a 3,000-strong army of highly trained hackers.

North Korea was blamed for attack back in March which disrupted the networks and websites of several broadcasters and banks.

Then, on the anniversary of the start of the Korean War on 25 June, DDoS and defacement attacks were launched at several high profile sites including the presidential Blue House, the prime minister's office and some media companies.

Security vendor Symantec has attributed both to the “DarkSeoul” gang, a hacking group in operation for the past four years, although it claimed attribution to Norks was still difficult.

“Symantec expects the DarkSeoul attacks to continue and, regardless of whether the gang is working on behalf of North Korea or not, the attacks are both politically motivated and have the necessary financial support to continue acts of cyber-sabotage on organisations in South Korea,” it added in a blog post. ®

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