Feeds

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

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.