How North Korean hackers stole 235 gigabytes of classified US and South Korean military plans

North Korea’s impressive cyber capabilities, explained.

In September 2016, North Korean intelligence services stole a huge batch of classified US and South Korean military plans — including a plan to assassinate North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un and other top government officials.

Yet this was not the stuff of an old-school John Le Carré spy novel, with shady figures in trenchcoats exchanging documents at a dark rendezvous spot in the woods. North Korea’s data theft was done entirely through computer systems.

According to a South Korean politician, last fall North Korean hackers gained access to South Korea’s Defense Integrated Data Center and stole 235 gigabytes of classified military plans. Two plans in particular stand out: One was a plan for how to respond to an attack on South Korea by North Korean commandos. The other was the plan for what’s called a “decapitation strike,” or an operation that would specifically target Kim and other key government officials loyal to the regime. But the full depth of what was stolen is still unknown.

The fact that we’re only just now learning of the extent of the burglary, more than a year after it happened, is a testament to North Korea’s immense cyber capabilities.

But wait a second — how did an impoverished country like North Korea end up with such impressive hacking abilities? And are they really that impressive? Or is our information just really easy to steal?

It turns out that while we’ve been (understandably) focused on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the country has been quietly developing another powerful tool — a selection of malware and malicious code, a veritable cyberweapon cache.

How did North Korea pull it off?

North Korea is one of seven nations generally regarded as “cyberpowers” — countries with the ability to mess around in …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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