N.Korea Steps Up Hacker Attacks on S.Korean Firms

      August 30, 2011 09:02

      North Korea attempts up to 250 million indiscriminate cyber attacks on government agencies and private corporations in South Korea per day, said an official with the National Cyber Security Center under the National Intelligence Service last Thursday.

      "In the past, the North focused its cyber terrorist attacks on major government agencies, but it has recently been expanding attacks on the civilian sector, including finance, aviation, transportation, and electric power," the official added.

      He urged private corporations to invest more in cyber security and wake up to the dangers of failing to protect themselves.

      The NIS says the North attacks private corporations indirectly by hacking computers controlled by staffers of private firms that maintain and repair their computer systems.

      A typical example was the paralysis of computer systems at the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, also known as Nonghyup, in April. At the time, the computer of an IBM Korea staffer who maintained Nonghyup's computer systems was hacked by a North Korean unit.

      The NIS has a great number of technologies to detect intrusions, but the North's hacking skills are improving by the day, it warned.

      An NIS officer said the North's General Bureau of Reconnaissance has about 1,000 hackers who can create malicious computer codes and avoid detection.

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