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Anti-Cyberattack bill necessary to prevent massive N. Korean attacks

Anti-Cyberattack bill necessary to prevent massive N. Korean attacks

Posted June. 15, 2017 07:16,   

Updated June. 15, 2017 07:34


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Federal Investigation said North Korea is responsible for large-scale cyberattacks dating back to 2009, issuing an official warning against more. The U.S. government agencies said that a North Korea hacking team called "Hidden Cobra" has been accused of targeting the media, aerospace and financials sectors in the United States and major countries around the world.

It was the first time that North Korea was behind global cyberattacks and that the hacker group's name was confirmed. It is shocking to learn that the North has world-class capabilities for conducting cyberterrorism and cyber warfare. The South Korean government has been able to simply suspected that the North was responsible for major cyberattacks including the July 7, 2009 DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack, the 2011 hacking of Nonghyup Bank, the 2013 hacking of major media companies' computer networks, and last year's hacking of the Defense Ministry's network that also affected the defense minister's computer. It is frustrating to see that South Korea's cyber warfare capabilities are so weak. This is why the defense ministry had the top-secret Operational Plan 5027 for a full-fledge war against the North was stolen by a hack, although the ministry had established the Cyber Command in 2010.

North Korea reportedly has a 3,000-strong cyber warfare agency, called the Bureau 121, under the Reconnaissance General Bureau, encouraging the hackers to spread malicious computer viruses and steal information through hacking. The problem is that the North's cyberattacks so far are believed to be part of reconnaissance activities for a massive attack. It is worrisome to think about whether South Korea can defend against the North's full-fledged cyberattacks.

Nevertheless, the Roh Moo-hyun administration's 2006 legislation for coping with a cyber crisis has gone nowhere. Last year, the then ruling Saenuri Party proposed that a national cyber security center be established under the National Intelligence Service. However, the Democratic Party, now the ruling party, rejected the legislation, claiming that the bill would allow the spy agency to monitor South Korean civilians. President Moon Jae-in said he would ban the spy agency from gathering domestic intelligence. Then, the Democratic Party should quickly pass the anti-cyber terrorism bill.