N. Korea training teams of 'cyber warriors': Experts
SEOUL (AP) - Investigators have yet to pinpoint the culprit behind a synchronised cyberattack in South Korea last week. But in Seoul, the focus remains fixed on North Korea, where South Korean security experts say Pyongyang has been training a team of computer-savvy "cyber warriors" as cyberspace becomes a fertile battleground in the standoff between the two Koreas.
Malware shut down 32,000 computers and servers at three major South Korean TV networks and three banks last Wednesday, disrupting communications and banking businesses, officials said. The investigation into who planted the malware could take weeks or even months.
South Korean investigators have produced no proof yet that North Korea was behind the cyberattack, and on Friday said the malware was traced to a Seoul computer. But South Korea has pointed the finger at Pyongyang in six cyberattacks since 2009, even creating a cyber security command center in Seoul to protect the Internet-dependent country from hackers from the North.
It may seem unlikely that impoverished North Korea, with one of the most restrictive Internet policies in the world, would have the ability to threaten affluent South Korea, a country considered a global leader in telecommunications. The average yearly income in North Korea was just US$1,190 (S$1,485) per person in 2011 - just a fraction of the average yearly income of US$22,200 for South Koreans that same year, according to the Bank of Korea in Seoul.