Feeds

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

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

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.