One of the newer, more interesting areas of conflict between North and South Korea has been in cyberspace, with some reports blaming the new leader, Kim Jong-eun, for North Korean hacking attacks on South Korean websites.
Whoever is managing the attacks, they do not appear to be stopping. On Monday (16 January), a spokesperson for Korea University, one of South Korea’s top schools, said email accounts at the college’s Graduate School of Information Security (hmm …) were hacked using a server and methodology previously associated with North Korean cyber-attacks. The latest attempt is reportedly similar to one made against the Korean Military Academy last May.
No damage came from the attack, since none of the students or graduates opened the problematic file attached to the emails used during the hack. The university was later able to relocate the graduate school’s email server behind additional security and, in cooperation with defense and intelligence officials, track the origin of the code used in the attack.
Banks, the South Korean military, schools, and businesses have all reportedly been victims or targets of North Korean cyber-attacks. With the difficulty of preventing the attacks, and of definitively tracing their origin, the likelihood is high that they will both continue and grow more effective as their instigators become more experienced. Couple that with a new North Korean leader anxious to prove his military and security bona fides, and cyber-security specialists in the South and U.S. should be getting plenty of new material.