Feeds

NORKS hacker corps reaches 5,900 sworn cyber soldiers - report

Hermit Kingdom doubles infosec headcount for strikes on Seoul strikes from China

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

North Korea has doubled the number of government hackers it employed over the last two years according to military sources from the South.

The allegations claim 5900 "elite" personnel were employed in Pyongyang's hacking unit, up from 3000 in 2012.

The hackers had their crosshairs firmly fixed on Seoul but operate from bureaux in China, the source told the Yonhap News Agency.

"The communist country operates a hacking unit under its General Bureau of Reconnaissance, which is home to some 1200 professional hackers," the source told the agency.

The hackers developed and foisted malware against South Korean banks, media websites and government and defence agencies during the employment surge and were fended off by a 900 strong South Korean security blue team.

South Korea in 2013 planned to train 5000 security bods to combat attacks from the North but it was unclear if these personnel have yet been trained.

Pyongyang denied launching attacks and accused Seoul of fueling diplomatic tensions.

The source said the North had more "elite" hackers than the United States with 900, and Japan housing 90.

Pyongyang trained 100 hackers a year through Mirim and Moranbong universities, said to be run by the Government's Operations Department that spearheaded cyber war efforts.

Hackers were divided up into 600 strong brigades taught by Russian professors from the Frunze Military Academy, North Korean defector Jang Se-yul told the popular Seoul Chosun newspaper in 2011.

Intriguingly the same source said in prior years a lack of local facilities meant hackers had to be taught in "faraway locations" including Canada and Australia.

In 2013, North Korea was blamed for distributed denial of service attacks against government agencies including the Presidential Blue House and media companies. It followed much larger attacks in March that year infecting banks, insurance firms and broadcasters with malware that permanently crashed computers. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.