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N.K.’s intelligence bureau responsible for creating cyber gambling sites in S.K.

N.K.’s intelligence bureau responsible for creating cyber gambling sites in S.K.

Posted September. 08, 2015 07:42,   


The fact North Korea’s general intelligence bureau created a program for operating illegal gambling sites in South Korea and used it from August 2013 to until late last month has been confirmed by a white hackers’ group in the South. White hackers said, “Chances are high the North’s general intelligence bureau have earned lots of money by operating sites by itself or selling the server program to organized crime rings in the South.” As the South Korean authority failed to block the North from infiltrating in the illegal gambling market in the South and engaging in operation to earn foreign currency for a long period of time, the South’s cyber security network has effectively revealed loopholes.

The white hackers detected the illegal program from the North’s general intelligence bureau by tracing the source based on server operation programs that were suspected of having been infected with malign codes, which were uploaded on a website by international cyber security experts. The North Korean IP address that was caught this time has been confirmed to be the same as the IP address that was reportedly behind the "March 20, 2013 cyber terror attacks," which paralyzed computers and computer networks of six broadcasters and banks in the South. However, a source in the National Police Agency only belatedly responded on Monday after The Dong-A Ilbo’s report was released, requesting the daily to “kindly provide materials because we need them to conduct investigation.” If domestic investigation agencies are inferior in capability to private sector experts, it is a matter of grave concern.”

The North’s cyber tactics are seen to be advancing from low-grade techniques to sophisticated technologies. There is a high probability that the North, which committed the low-level attacks of email hacking and denial of access attacks on public computer networks and mid-level attacks such as hacking of NongHyup Bank’s computer network in the past, could attempt a more serious, large-scale cyber terror attack. The "Anti-nuclear plant group," which hacked the blueprints of nuclear plants in the South late last year and threatened to destroy nuclear plants, disclosed classified data on nine occasions until last month, blackmailing the government.

The North sometimes embeds malign codes to illegal gambling sites and uses them for cyber terror attacks. In April last year, 15 North Koreans were arrested for transferring over 10 billion won (8.5 million U.S. dollars) in net income to Pyongyang by operating illegal sports gambling sites in Cambodia. The South Korean presidential office instated a presidential secretary for cyber security last March and thus increased its capabilities in cyber security and boosted its function as the control tower, but it has been effectively hopeless in the wake of the North’s cyber terror attacks. While the government should constantly strengthen its capacity to respond and counter, it should also proactively consider collaboration with white hackers in the private sector.

Last year, the U.S. sternly responded through vengeance and sanctions to the North’s hacking into Sony Pictures. Washington enlisted three North Korean organizations, namely the general intelligence bureau, Mining Industry Development Corp. and Korea Tangun Trading Company, and 10 people on the list of parties subject to international sanctions. South Korea should also take strong vengeance against the North, rather than simply pointing figures at Pyongyang for cyber terror attacks.