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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
With all the back-and-forth between the U.S. and North Korean governments, U.S. officials are beginning to worry that the country will eventually unleash cyberattacks that can take down big networks, take money from major world banks, and disrupt infrastructure around the world.
According to U.S. intelligence officials, North Korea is fourth on the list of dangerous “cyber actors” across the globe; it’s behind Russia, China, and Iran in that arena.
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Are North Korean Cyberattacks on the Horizon?
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Experts are worried that the country could widen the scope of its cyberattacks to harm the American economy.
"We've been worried for some time that one of the ways that North Korea can retaliate against further escalation of tensions is via cyber, and particularly attacks against our financial sector," says Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of the cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike. "This is something they have really perfected as an art against South Korea."
On June 13, U.S. officials said that they believe North Korea is actively targeting the aerospace field, the media, and financial and infrastructure sectors all over the United States. The Department of Homeland Security pointed its finger at a group called “Hidden Cobra,” saying that the attacks are already underway.
The Hidden Cobra group has been accused of stealing $81 million from Bangladesh’s Central Bank, and experts believe the money went to fund Kim Jong-Un’s regime.
“They're also stealing defense information. So, a decade of targeting defense contractors worldwide, may have helped in some way in gathering enough information to at least speed up their [nuclear weapons] process,” says John Hultquist, leader of the intelligence team at FireEye, another cybersecurity firm.
What Do You Think?
Are we in danger of North Korean cyberattacks, or is it just a bunch of hype? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to share them on my Facebook page or Twitter.