North Korea’s Evolving Cyber Warfare Strategy – Analysis
+ The use of cyber weapons of mass effectiveness alongside weapons of mass destruction provides Pyongyang with a unified asymmetric strategy designed to pressure the United States and the wider international community to recognise its legitimacy.
The sophistication of North Korea’s cyber operations shows an increasing emphasis that Pyongyang is placing on cyber-enabled economic and political warfare, with cyber units and state-sponsored hacking groups aiming to counter international sanctions, while at the same time generating resources for North Korea’s economic and military-technological development.
+ North Korea’s cyber warfare units have come a long way since the mid-1990s, when the country’s computer infrastructure was rudimentary at best. The 2009 US National Intelligence Estimate dismissed North Korea’s cyber capabilities and long-range missile programs, noting it would take years to develop them into a meaningful threat.
+ In 2016 the GSD established a new department for Command, Control, Communication, Computer and Intelligence (C4I) to enhance the defensive cyber capabilities of the KPA’s command and control systems. These have been reportedly targeted by a top secret US military program. To counter such measures, North Korea is developing quantum encryption technology in an effort to build a highly secure command and control link between Pyongyang and key missile launching sites.
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