North Korea has been laying the groundwork for a massive cyber attack against South Korea, government officials from South Korea told Reuters.
According to the report, North Korea launched a hacking campaign in 2014 that affected more than 140,000 computers at 160 South Korean businesses and government agencies. South Korea suspects that since the hacked machines stayed dormant, that North Korea was waiting to launch a simultaneous attack “intended to cause confusion on a national scale”, or to “continuously steal industrial and military secrets”.
The hackers took no action after gaining control of servers and computers at some corporate groups and waited, as they continued to hack into more targets in what police said was likely an effort to build the scale of a planned attack.
South Korea only realised in February that Kim Jong-un’s band of hackers had been infiltrating its networks after defense related material was stolen from two South Korean conglomerates.
It’s far from the only nefarious cyber hacking in North Korea’s history. In 2014, North Korean hackers led a devastating campaign against Sony Pictures that resulted in a leak of embarrassing internal emails, as well as unreleased movie clips. Just last month North Korea was linked to a hack on a bank in Bangladesh that resulted in $81 million being stolen.
It’s not like North Korea is the only country with state-sponsored hacking. The United States, for instance, has an entire entity dedicated to hacking called the United States Cyber Command. Welcome to the shadowy future of cyber war. [Reuters]