April 08, 2013 13:10
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February expressed confidence in the regime's cyber warfare capabilities against South Korea. A South Korean official on Sunday quoted Kim as saying at the time, "If we have strong information technology and brave warriors like the Reconnaissance General Bureau, we will be able to break any sanctions and have no problem building a strong and prosperous country."
The official said the North has reason to be confident in its 12,000 highly skilled hackers, who are able to avoid detection by erasing their traces.
Talented children in sciences in North Korea get intensive computer training at Kumsong Middle School in Pyongyang. They are then raised as "cyber warriors" for three to five years at either Mirim College under the General Staff Department or Moranbong College under the Reconnaissance Bureau.
An estimated 1,000 North Korean hackers work under cover for educational software companies, animation companies and trade firms across China, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
A South Korean security official said, "These North Korean hackers take orders from South Korean criminal networks based abroad to create websites for games and gambling, and are given servers and laptops. They ultimately serve as the infrastructure for cyber attacks against South Korea."
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