Wednesday, March 20, 2013

North Korean Hacks in South Korea Should Be A Wake-Up Call To Allies

North Korean hackers, likely with Pyonyang’s blessing, attacked South Korean media companies yesterday.  Hit were banks as well.  A couple of things are disturbing about this which leads me to believe South Koreans are not taking North Korean threats as seriously as they should.  Like maybe they need to take it up a couple of notches.

First, this is 2013 and we have known about the coming cyber wars.  Actually, it’s here.  And it is simply unfathomable how vulnerable a high-tech economy like South Korea’s is so easily rattled.  The lack of vigilance is appalling to say the least.  At least government and military computers were not affected.  However, they simply may not have been the targets to begin with.

Second, it’s surprising that the United States, who North Korea dreamt of burning, or American companies were attacked.  Given the attention the public and Congress has given, and especially with constant Chinese hacks, we might be a bit more prepared than most other countries.  The same goes for Japan, another sworn enemy North Korea cooked up.

Lastly, if you put the two together, I have to ask if this was an inside job.  North Korean agents, given the proximity to the South and with wider access, were able to upload malware that allowed this attack to happen.  It would be easier to find sympathizers there than anywhere else like Japan or the US.

Hope this serves as a wake up call for our allies.  It Does not matter if it’s China or Iran, imagine allied computer networks taken out even before the first missile takes off.

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