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North`s Trojan horse penetrates South through open doors
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2013 09:25:06 +0000 (UTC)

http://english.donga.com/srv/service.php3?biid=2013080143238

Dong-A Ilbo
AUGUST 01, 2013

Authorities’ investigation has found that 110,000 personal computers in South Korea were transformed into zombie PCs because the head of an information technology company in the South handed over the right to access a domestic computer network to spies from the North’s intelligence bureau and hacker. “Cyber invaders” planted by the enemy have virtually been waiting for a tall order from the North. It reminds us of the Trojan horse. Greece, which failed to conquer Troy in intense fortress battles for nearly 10 years, defeated the enemy by using the wooden horse. Greek soldiers hiding inside the wooden horse only numbered 30.

It remains unknown on what purpose the head of an IT company, identified by his last name Kim, acted to serve interest of the North. Kim, a former anti-government activist in the South, reportedly contacted North Korean spies while he was working with a South-North IT joint venture in China in the late 1990s. If there is any force behind his spying act, they should be rooted out as well.

It is not the first time that a South Korean handed over the right to access a domestic server to the North. Last year, a game program producer and trader, Cho, was sentenced to two years in prison for handing over the right to access a computer network to a spy from North Korea’s intelligence bureau and enabling the North to transform more than 6,000 PCs in the South into zombie PCs.

Since the early 2000s, the North has been aggressively strengthening its capacity to conduct cyber warfare against the South. South Korea is an IT powerhouse but is vulnerable in cyber security. Hence, freezing a computer network could wreck a bigger havoc than bombing a bridge or road in the South Korean society. The North has nurtured more than 3,000 hackers, and is constantly seeking an opportunity to launch a cyber attack on the South. Cyber attacks on South Korean organizations in March and June this year, and denial of access attacks on July 7, 2009, and on March 4, 2011 are found to have been committed by Pyongyang.

The question of why the South has hopelessly fallen victim to the North’s cyber attacks over the past years is being gradually answered as well. If there is someone who colludes with the North within the South, the latter cannot protect its cyber territory, no matter how strong bulwark it constructs.

[...]

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