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North Korea using foreign bases to launch cyberattacks, says HP

John E. Dunn | Sept. 3, 2014
The Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (DPRK) is a country with almost no conventional Internet presence and yet it has among the most active cyberwarfare footprints of any nation on earth and appears obsessed with expanding its operations, HP has concluded after reviewing evidence from a range of third-party sources.

The picture drawn by HP is of a state bent on using the Internet not to advance its economy but to fund its precarious economy and thereby simply survive. It happily uses cyber-operations for their nuisance value, setting out primarily to destroy and disrupt rather than steal resources. By turning itself into a problem demanding attention it seeks to gain concessions.

Its lack of infrastructure forces it to use resources beyond its borders, something that makes it incredibly vulnerable should governments and policies change but also quite effective in the short run. Sourcing cyber-attacks to North Korea is difficult and is usually done by drawing inferences form target lists that always include South Korea.

"We should not overestimate the regime's advanced cyber capability, yet we should never underestimate the potential impact of North Korea utilizing less advanced, quick-and-dirty tactics like DDoS to cripple their high-tech targets," concludes the report.


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