Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:59AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the free-basement-with-pizza dept.

Ju-Min Park and James Pearson report at Reuters that despite its poverty and isolation, North Korea has poured resources into a sophisticated cyber-warfare cell called Bureau 121, staffed by some of the most talented, and rewarded, people in North Korea, handpicked and trained from as young as 17. "They are hand-picked," says Kim Heung-kwang, a former computer science professor in North Korea who defected to the South in 2004. "It is a great honor for them. It is a white-collar job there and people have fantasies about it." The hackers in Bureau 121 were among the 100 students who graduate from the University of Automation each year after five years of study. Over 2,500 apply for places at the university, which has a campus in Pyongyang, behind barbed wire.

According to Jang Se-yul, who studied with them at North Korea's military college for computer science, Bureau 121 unit comprises about 1,800 cyber-warriors, and is considered the elite of the military. North Korea's ‘cyber-warriors’ are very honored in the country. As well as their salaries which are far above the country’s average, they are often gifted with good food, luxuries and even apartments. According to John Griasafi, this kind of treatment could be expected for those working in the elite Bureau. “You’d have to be pretty special and well trusted to even be allowed on email in North Korea so I have no doubt that they are treated well too.”

Pyongyang has active cyber-warfare capabilities, military and software security experts have said. In 2013 tens of thousands of computers were made to malfunction, disrupting work at banks and television broadcasters in South Korea. "For them, the strongest weapon is cyber. In North Korea, it’s called the Secret War," says Jang.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:25AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:25AM (#123164)

    Thirty years ago in America, you had to be hand-picked to work on a research project that gave you Internet access.

    You know, those of who are older than 30 can actually remember a time when the Internet was not available to everyone, computer science was a respected field of study, IT was a white-collar job, and kids had fantasies about hacking. But thanks for the sensationalist article full of scaremongering.

    • (Score: 2) by ticho on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:58AM

      by ticho (89) on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:58AM (#123169) Homepage Journal

      Except that in USA, kids dreamed about doing the "hacking", while people in NK dream about the social status and abundance of food that comes with the job, and probably couldn't give a rat's ass about the "hacking" itself. So, pretty much not like America.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @10:10AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @10:10AM (#123172)

        You're absolutely right. These days kids dream about the social status and abundance of food that comes with having a job, any job, because their chances of getting a job after graduation are slim in modern America. So, exactly like North Korea!

        At least European kids have a socialist safety net to fall back on when there are no jobs available for them. Not so in antisocial Terrorist America.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 06 2014, @02:44PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 06 2014, @02:44PM (#123207) Journal

      Thirty years ago in America, you had to be hand-picked to work on a research project that gave you Internet access.

      Aside from the fact that this is simply wrong (for example, I had internet access a few years later in 1987 just by being a generic incoming college student and colleges have had access since the mid 70s), it is a vastly different situation. The internet of that time had almost no value compared to now. There were also several competing networks in the process of being created (for example, FidoNet, AOL, Compuserve).

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:06PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:06PM (#123282) Journal

        It had immense value if you were into computing in general. Of course all the facebook level social drama didn't have the magnitude that it has archived now. It required grades to get into college, interest to even try to connect, and then technical knowhow to get it to work. FidoNet was slow and certiainly lacked the realtime capability which made Usenet look like heaven, AOL and Compuserve was limited to what they defined as worthy like Facebook and Apple corporate censorship presently. Besides those dial-in things were more like closed of world.

        So no OMG!!.. but certainly a shit-yeah for internet access pre-eternal-september. Being able to use operating system integrated packet networking without insane telecom billing bullshit certainly made things easier. Packet oriented rather than single pipe to terminal like end node made handling multiple node handling a breeze.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @12:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @12:09PM (#123182)

    Can't even reword the article?
    Well at least it's not Beta format.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @01:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @01:44PM (#123197)

      most people here don't read /. any more

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday December 06 2014, @02:30PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 06 2014, @02:30PM (#123202) Journal

      We welcome the support that the community gives to the site, and if the submission is acceptable as submitted, why should I bother to change it? We check the sources, but changing someone's work unnecessarily seems a bit of an insult to the submitter and an additional workload that we can do without.

      Secondly, I stopped reading /. when I moved here in February of this year. I have no intentions of going back there, so how would I know what has been posted there and in what format?

      If you have a problem with the format or content, we would be pleased to receive your submissions too!

      --
      It's always my fault...
  • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Saturday December 06 2014, @12:11PM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Saturday December 06 2014, @12:11PM (#123183) Journal

    interesting story. however I would question just how much sucessful hacking you can a achieve from nk. there have to be a finite and well-mapped number of exit nodes connecting the nk network and the net at large. I would expect those pipes to be very very closely monitored, and all traffic in and out to be scrutinised very carefully. unless the Chinese are relaying the nk communications (but i don't see how the Chinese would benefit from that), or the nk hackers are sent out of the country to do their dirty work from cyber cafes elsewhere.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @05:17PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @05:17PM (#123237)

    Here is the current version:

    a sophisticated cyber-warfare cell called Bureau 121, staffed by some of the most talented, and rewarded, people in North Korea, handpicked and trained from as young as 17. "They are hand-picked," says Kim Heung-kwang, a former computer science professor in North Korea who defected to the South in 2004. "It is a great honor for them. It is a white-collar job there and people have fantasies about it."

    I went back and found the original, unhacked version:

    a ragtag cyber-warfare cell called Bureau 121, staffed by young North Koreans who were unable to pass the university entrance exams. "This is a second chance for them," says Kim Heung-kwang, a former computer science professor in North Korea who defected to the South in 2004. "They are third raters, but it doesn't take much programming skill to modify the scripts written by elite hackers in Russia and Israel."

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Conspiracy Nut on Sunday December 07 2014, @06:36AM

    by Conspiracy Nut (4533) on Sunday December 07 2014, @06:36AM (#123409)

    TL;DR - BS article getting us prepped to believe in the next [false flag] [cyber-]attacks as the reason why the financial system collapsed this time. Yup, uber tinfoily, but this is where evidence and logic has led me.

    Details for the curious:
    =====
    The dollar is absolutely dead. http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/terence-p-jeffrey/ponzi-treasury-issues-1t-new-debt-8-weeks-pay-old-debt [cnsnews.com]
    Putin and China have set a golden trap. http://www.gold-eagle.com/article/grandmaster-putins-golden-trap [gold-eagle.com]
    Price of silver is below the mining costs ($20/oz), you cannot buy the Silver Eagles anywhere and yet the price of the silver ($16/oz) is as if nobody wants it.
    Same is true for gold, but you cannot get large quantities of it delivered via COMEX. They just won't do it and most of the price of metal futures is due to speculation, since naked shorts are perfectly allowed.
    If you look around you in America, outside of rich towns, businesses are closing left and right (you can really tell by just walking half a mile and counting), and yet DOW 30 rose from 7k in Feb 2009 to 18k in Dec 2014 - by 255% in just 6 years, which is a compounded growth of 16.9% per year whereas the average from Jan 1985 to extrapolated Jan 2015 is (optimistically) 9.25% per year; the pessimistic average (assuming that 2009 level is the true level because true bottom was not allowed to be reached by the FED & co) from 1985 to the bottom in 2009 is 7.42% growth per year. All three percentages do not account for inflation. Still, 17% is bogus. There is no recovery and both Europe and the US are hurring big time.
    1266.77 in Jan 1985
    7,062.93 in Feb 2009
    ~18,000 in Jan 2015
    Real unemployment rate in the US is 23%, not 6% http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts [shadowstats.com]
    Add to this that neither FDIC nor major banks are liable for cyber-hacking; they have special clauses.
    Then you have periodic news of China, Russia, Syria and now North Korea hacking targets on the US soil. What SHTF (according to them), it will be revealed that the aforementioned gang is the enemy that stole the Christmas (err, I mean trillions of dollars from the banks).

    What will this look like? One day soon you will wake up and your banks accounts are frozen, 401k frozen, ATMs not working for a week while banks are trying to asses the damage and decide what to do and how to split the losses. You will be robbed of 50% of your savings in the exchange for worthless bank stock. Meanwhile MSM will immediately point fingers to all or some of the following: Syria, Iran, Russia, China, North Korea. They will know this within hours even though professional state-sponsored hackers can leave no trace. They would infect a ton of computers all over the world, which in turn would infect others, which would infect others, which would ... and just lie there dormant, ready to wake up.

    Add to this craziness the unimaginable story of ISIS which is able to steal oil from refineries and send tankers to the buyers without Navy Seals dropping on their asses like was the case with a Lybian tanker. http://navaltoday.com/2014/03/20/us-navy-destroyer-escorts-morning-glory-to-lybia/ [navaltoday.com]

    Why is ISIS allowed to trade stolen oil whereas Lybian rebels cannot? Because those Rebels overthrew the US-installed puppet government. ISIS, however does "our" bidding. All these gaffes where air-dropped weapons and supplies end up in the wrong hands. Where ISIS storms into an Iraqi town and everyone there drops their weapons and just runs away. This new mighty force scarier than Al Quaeda has to be funded and trained by someone. It was not just a spontaneous event.

    Neither are race riots here in America.

    Firstly, statistics shows that racist white cops killing innocent young black men is a myth. For example, Eric Garner had a very long criminal record. His family rejected that race was at play. There was a black officer among the group arresting Garner, but she was edited out by MSM.

    The race bating is at the max, country-wide protests are well organized. The elite are hoping to divide & conquer US about evenly, to turn whites against blacks, Latinos and sympathizers. They want more chaos, more fires, more violence (like with that Serbian dude killed by hammers). They want riots to get out of control so that they would have an excuse to disarm citizens. Once this goal is accomplished, we will have false flag attacks, followed by alleged cyber-attacks and then the bottom of the market will fall out. Hyperinflation will kick in within 6 months.

    This is only logical.

    It is also logical that a crappy backwards country that cannot even electrify its streets is not a threat to the US in any way. No, they are not going to launch that only working nuke either.

    I am convinced that Kim Heung-kwang, "a former computer science professor" got paid a few million dollars to make a BS claim that was written & edited by the owners of this country.