Feeds

NORKS build TROLL ARMY to tear down S Korean surfers

No we're not too hungry to concentrate on posting propaganda...

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

North Korea has tasked 200 agents with the job of posting negative comments online, often using stolen online identities, in a bid to undermine the morale of their neighbours in the South.

The brigade of NORK trolls is part of a brigade of 3,000 cyber warriors and hackers that make up the Reconnaissance General Bureau information warfare force, according to the Police Policy Institute.

Ryu Dong-ryul of the Police Policy Institute said, "The North has established a team of online trolls at the United Front Department and the Reconnaissance General Bureau."

About 200 agents post derogatory comments on South Korean portals using assumed identities stolen from South Koreans, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reports.

The South Korean thinktank reckons other members of the NORK cyber army are building malware and launching hacker attacks while the trolls are posting comments with links to N Korea propaganda sites designed to sway public opinion in favour of Pyongyang.

North Korean agents posted more than 27,000 propaganda messages designed to turn people against the South during 2011 alone, the institute estimates. In 2012 this figure increased and more than 41,000 messages were posted, delegates at a seminar in Seoul earlier this week were told. Objectives of the campaign include getting unblock access to pro-North Korean sites for surfers visiting from the South.

North Korea is the prime suspect in destructive malware attacks against the computer networks of banks and TV stations earlier this year, the latest in a series of attacks. Cyber assaults included attempts to knock targeted sites offline have been going on within the Korean peninsular for some years. Ordinary North Korean citizens have only heavily regulated access to government controlled websites through local cybercafes.

The hermit kingdom does maintain various portals and propaganda outlets, some of which are hosted in China, such as Uriminzokkiri.

Using agents of the state in a propaganda offensive fought on social media sites and consumer portals is an unusual tactic but it's not restricted to North Korea. As previously reported, cadres of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards include similar digital propaganda units.

Lim Jong-in of Korea University estimates 30,000 North Koreans are engaged in cyber and psychological warfare against South Korea, a group swelled every year by another 300 personnel "trained in the dark arts", as Chosun Ilbo catchily describes it.

This hoard of cyber-ninja Death Eaters are arrayed against a much smaller South Korean force that is growing by only 30 personnel a year. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.