Feeds

South Korea green lights Stuxnet-like code weapons to nark NORKS

Nuke it from cyberspace, it's the only way to be sure

Top three mobile application threats

The South Korean government has approved plans to develop a Stuxnet-like virus to disrupt Pyongyang’s missile and atomic capabilities, according to local reports.

The plans are part of a new defence ministry strategy designed to enhance Seoul’s offensive capabilities, in a bid to counter a North Korea which has been increasingly aggressive online of late.

First up, the ministry aims in May to install a "Cyber Defence Department" which will oversee all operations.

"The new department will oversee the defensive cyber-warfare missions when major networks are hit by hacking attacks, while carrying out orders of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs," an anonymous ministry official told Yonhap.

The second phase of the plan involves the development of “tools” to be used as part of “comprehensive cyber-warfare missions” aimed at disrupting key weapons and atomic facilities north of the border. It’s an open secret that Pyongyang is actively attempting to create nuclear weapons and as Stuxnet helped someone to disrupt similar efforts in Iran, the lure of code as a weapon has obvious appeal.

South Korea also plans to beef up its “psychological warfare” capabilities aimed at countering Pyongyang’s online propaganda and smear tactics.

However, the defence ministry has been criticised in the past after operatives were accused of posting overtly political content during the presidential election of 2012.

Responding to these concerns, the ministry is apparently planning to set up a committee to review any such operations prior to their approval as well as a whistleblower initiative to allow operatives to report any malpractice.

Seoul has a right to be paranoid about what’s going on over the border. Defence minister Kim Kwan-jin said last year that Pyongyang now has as many as 3,000 highly trained hackers tasked with stealing military secrets and disrupting systems.

It’s also believed that major attacks on South Korean systems last year by the Kim Jong-un regime caused 800bn won’s (£470m) worth of damage. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.