Is North Korea Preparing for a Massive Cyber-Attack on South Korea?

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It has been reported that North Korea have been staging a range of cyber attacks on South Korea, in what is believed to be ‘practice’ in preparation for a much bigger cyber attack.

So far, North Korea have reportedly hacked into in excess of 140,000 computers within some 160 different South Korean firms and government agencies, raising concerns for a much more long-term plan, as they seem to be laying out the groundwork for a massive cyber attack against its rival.

Understandably, South Korea are now on heightened alert against the threat of cyber attacks from North Korea, after Pyongyang reportedly conducted a nuclear test in January as well as  long-range rocket launch in February that led to new U.N. sanctions.

These hacks first took place in February of 2014, when North Korea successfully managed to steal information from two conglomerates, which included defense-related material.

South Korea’s police cyber investigation unit commented on the issue that “there is a high possibility that the North aimed to cause confusion on a national scale by launching a simultaneous attack after securing many targets of cyber terror, or intended to continuously steal industrial and military secrets.”

The not-so illusive hackers opted to take no action once they had gained control over the servers and computers, instead deciding to wait as they continued to hack into more and more targets in what police believe to be an effort towards building up a much-larger scale attack.

The most recent case took place just this March, as documents containing the blueprints for the wings of a f-15 fighter jet were stolen. Additionally, of the 42,000 materials that have so far been stolen, more than 40,000 were defense related.

Furthermore, the IP address of the hackers could be directly traced back to North Korea, and was identical to one used previously in 2013 in a cyber attack of South Korean banks and broadcasters that managed to freeze computer systems for over a week.

This is obviously a cause for concern, with cyber-attacks becoming the new weapon of the 21st century.

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