Defending Against North Korea's Cyber Threats

In addition to the intimidating use of long range missiles, the North Korean government is employing malicious cyber activity to collect intelligence, conduct attacks and to generate criminal revenues. Indeed, North Korea has successfully funded $2b for its nuclear missile programs through criminal acts focused on crypto currency.

The US and South Korea have committed to cooperate in averting North Korean cyber security threats in a working group meeting held in Seoul following reports that North Korea is stealing using crypto currency scams. 

Both the US and South Korea aim to coordinate with the financial industry and other countries to develop means to deter the actions of North Korea. The two countries have held a second working group meeting on North Korean cyber threats in Seoul.

The US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has recently claimed in testimony submitted to the House Committee on Homeland Security that North Korea have already stolen over $1 billion for its nuclear weapons program during the past two years. North Korea has also ramped up its cyber espionage activities, said FBI Director Christopher Wray during the US Congress Homeland Security Committee hearing. 

As North Korea is using increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks and targeting the United States, it is important for the US and South Korea, North Korea’s usual target, to cooperate against these attacks and to implement the already existing high-level commitments to mutual defence. 

"North Korea has growing espionage in addition to theft and attack capability in some ways, sort of similar to Iran in recent years in particular, and especially targeting, as you say, financial institutions, crypto currency exchanges and so forth because they needed to fund their regime because of the effectiveness of the sanctions that otherwise exist," Wray said.

CISA:      The Diplomat:     Korea Herald:        SCMagazine:  

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