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North Korea May Use Cyber Attacks in Response to Propaganda Broadcasts

Daniel Kim Views  

As tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula, there are concerns that threats of cyberattacks from North Korea could increase. Unlike past military conflicts, North Korea is projected to escalate its level of cyber provocations, requiring extra caution.

According to the cybersecurity industry on the 11th, the intelligence authorities are preparing for North Korea’s potential cyber provocations.

Previously, the South Korean National Intelligence Service announced that they would conduct the 2024 Cyber Attack Response Training targeting key information and communication infrastructure in public sectors closely related to people’s lives, starting from the 10th. This is due to the possibility that North Korea might resort to cyberattacks as a means of provocation as tensions escalate with the government considering the resumption of loudspeaker broadcasts towards North Korea in response to North Korea’s continuous waste balloons.

Yoon Oh Joon, Third Deputy Director of the National Intelligence Service, stated, “We cannot rule out the possibility of cyber provocations targeting national infrastructure such as energy and transportation following continuous provocations towards South Korea.”

The political realm also believes that North Korea will focus on cost-effective cyber terrorism.

Kim Byung Joo, a congressman from the Democratic Party and a former four-star general, pointed out cyber-attacks as the new response that Kim Yo Jong mentioned in a radio interview on the 10th. The People’s Power Party Congressman who is also a North Korean defector and engineer, Park Chung Kwon, suggested the possibility of attempts to manipulate public opinion on domestic portal sites or hacking after drawing attention with the release of waste balloons.

In reality, cyber threats from North Korea have become routine. The cyber crisis alert in the public sector has maintained the caution level for over two years since March 21, 2022. North Korean hacking organizations affiliated with the Reconnaissance General Bureau, such as Lazarus, Kimsuky, and Andariel, are conducting comprehensive hacking activities targeting South Korea. Lazarus was identified as the perpetrator who hacked the court’s computer network for two years and stole over 1,000GB of data.

Experts agree that cyberattacks are the best means of attack that North Korea can choose. In particular, North Korea can choose an attack method to cause chaos, moving beyond daily hacking activities aimed at stealing confidential data. For example, the attack method is a Deface, which shuts down or changes the main screen of popular websites, such as media presses, via a DDoS attack.

These are not covert attacks to achieve objectives but to reveal them to the public. North Korea confused South Koreans by hacking Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power in 2014 and publicly releasing a large number of internal documents on Twitter. Furthermore, if North Korea denies its actions, it can potentially instigate South-South conflict over the perpetrator of the cyberattack.

Head of the Genians Security Center Moon Jong Hyun said, “Cyber ​​security threats are not easily visible, so it is difficult for the public to feel them. However, North Korea is conducting daily cyberattacks against South Korea. The key point is whether they will conduct attacks aimed at causing social confusion through website paralysis via DDoS or Deface alteration.”

He added, “Considering the recent advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, we need to keep a close eye on it, even though the deepfake attacks that North Korea has carried out in the past were of a crude level.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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