South Korea to upgrade its cyber defence
Quoting ministry of defence sources, the Korea JoongAng Daily newspaper reports that South Korea is about to upgrade its defensive and offensive cyber warfare forces. The measure will be implemented as part of a comprehensive defence plan that is designed to prevent potential threats from North Korea. The report says that, in addition to the development of virtual warfare "weapons", the number of service personnel working for the country's "Cyber Command" will be doubled to 1,000. This special unit was formed in 2010 to prevent hacker attacks thought to originate from the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
The South Korean government has repeatedly accused its enemy in the North of hacking government and banking web sites, and attempting to sabotage civilian aircraft and cargo ships using GPS interference. In June 2012, Seoul accused Pyongyang of being behind the cyber attack on Incheon international airport. A 39-year-old man was arrested in connection with that case and charged for distributing malware-infected online games on behalf of North Korean government agents. Allegedly, the infected computers were supposed to operate as a botnet and cripple the airport's computer system via distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
In 2011, the South Korean police arrested a hacker ring whose members allegedly included North Korean programmers. Hacking is now also believed to have become an important source of foreign currency for North Korea. Pyongyang has so far denied all accusations from the South.