Feeds

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

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.