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Did N. Korean hackers participate in S. Korean hacking contest?

Did N. Korean hackers participate in S. Korean hacking contest?

Posted June. 07, 2013 01:09,   


Hackers who identified themselves as North Koreans participated in "SecuInside 2013," a non-profit hacking defense challenge and hacker conference held in South Korea.

According to the organizers of the event, a total of 1,083 teams from 77 countries around the world participated, and 21 of them identified themselves as North Koreans in their application forms. All of the 21 teams were eliminated in the preliminaries. Hosted jointly by The Dong-A Ilbo and Koscom, a South Korean financial information technology solutions company, SecuInside is a contest for hacking, tracking and defense by white hat hackers, or computer security specialists who breaks into protected systems and networks to test and assess their security. The annual event first took place in 2011.

Kim Seung-joo, a professor at the Graduate School of Information Security at Korea University, raised the possibility that the hackers were not really North Koreans. “If real North Korean hackers participated in the event to test their ability, they would have lied about their nationality. But they identified themselves as North Korea. Some of the ‘North Korean teams’ Internet protocols (IPs) were in the United States.” As IPs can be easily faked, it is difficult to identify the participants’ nationality just by their IPs.

Even if they are really North Korean hackers, it is presumed that their actual goal was to participate in the event because they would have to come to Seoul. For the preliminaries, the participants submitted their answers online.