North Korea 'churning out cyberterrorists'
Date: June 06, 2003
American and South Korean officials warn that the communist country is training hackers for Internet warfare
SEOUL - In North Korea, computers are rare and Internet access is almost non-existent for most people.
Yet the isolated country is suspected of training computer hackers for cyberterrorism, say American and South Korean officials.
Although few details are known publicly about the North's cyberwarfare capabilities, Major-General Song Young Geun, chief of South Korea's Defence Security Command, warned last month that the reclusive communist country was churning out 100 hackers a year.
However, he said he could not discuss the evidence.
South Korea is one of the world's most wired nations, with more than 70 per cent of all households having high-speed broadband access to the Internet. That makes it vulnerable to cyberattacks.
In January, a virus-like infection brought the country's Internet service to a near standstill.
'North Korea could not help but notice this,' said cybersecurity expert Michael Wilson of Nevada-based Decision Support Systems.
In modern warfare, digital foes can strike the enemy by hacking into computers and spreading viruses to disrupt military communications and command systems or plant bogus data.
Given Pyongyang's care in building up its military, it would be a 'significant oversight' to think North Korea lacked such capabilities, Mr Wilson said.
Original article: http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,193414,00.html
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