Feeds

NORKS cyber mayhem cost South Korea £500 MEEELLION

Attacks since 2009 highlight defence gaps, says lawmaker

Boost IT visibility and business value

North Korea’s supposed 3,000-strong army of highly trained hackers has caused financial damage to its southern neighbour amounting to over £500 million over the past four years, according to a South Korean lawmaker.

Citing figures provided by the defence ministry’s cyber warfare unit, Chung Hee-soo of the ruling Saenuri Party told parliament that NORKS’ attacks on South Korea in March and on the anniversary of the Korean war in June this year were the most serious, causing 800bn won in damage (£470m), according to Yonhap.

A DDoS attack on 7 July 2009 came next on the list, apparently causing 50bn won’s (£29m) worth of damage.

Although always denied by Pyongyang as South Korean mischief-making, the evidence is mounting that hermit state has been waging an extensive online battle against its near neighbour to the south – disrupting and defacing web sites and stealing personal and military information.

Chung said that since 2010 the South Korean military had been targeted by 6,392 online attacks.

The “Dark Seoul” attack of March 2013 which affected some 48,000 machines and caused major disruption to several banks and TV broadcasters was traced back to six computers in North Korea.

Most recently, researchers at Kaspersky Lab unearthed a highly targeted APT attack, labelled “Kimsuky”, on several key South Korean thinktanks. The attack was traced back to several IP addresses just over the North Korean border in China’s Jilin and Liaoning provinces.

Chung, who’s a member of the parliamentary defence committee, told parliament that the Seoul government has only 400 staff tasked with cyber operations, as opposed to 3,000 working for Kim Jong-un.

Whether those figures are entirely accurate remains to be seen, especially on the NORKS side. It’s also notoriously difficult to quantify the financial impact of cyber attacks.

However, Chung believes that Seoul should be stepping up its efforts to mitigate the risk of attack, despite a plan announced in July to train up an additional 5,000 info-security experts.

"We are seriously lacking in the necessary budget and professional staff,” she said. “The establishment of a cyber command center with defence capabilities against North Korea's cyber attacks and electromagnetic bombs is also being delayed." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.