With the latest report that South Korean banks and news broadcasters' servers were possibly hacked by North Korea - and the North earlier accusing the US of cyber attacks - it raises questions of North Korea’s actual cyber ability.
The IP addresses connected to the latest hack attack on South Korea - and ones from 2009 and 2011 - are coming out of China. Of course, hackers can fake a Chinese IP address or re-route their web connections, but we have to consider the environment where these attacks came from.
Last time I checked, the only people who had access to the international internet in North Korea were sanctioned lab computer scientists and foreigners. So I’d have to agree fully with Michael Sutton from Zscaler, an internet security provider, when he remarked today:
(North Koreans) simply don’t have access to the same technology due to sanctions, and a large portion of their population does not have ready access to the Internet, so they don’t have that natural pool of talent to recruit from.
Considering the timing of the latest attacks in sync with North Korean computers being hacked, it might make sense that North Korea is behind the attacks. But how? If North Korea doesn’t have the technical ability to take on US or South Korean systems, I’d wager that North Korea is hiring Chinese hackers to do their dirty work.
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