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Latest Developments in North Korea’s Cyber Aggression and the ROK’s Responses
Published May 3, 2023
Publication Source: IFANS
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North Korea’s cross-border aggression in cyberspace is becoming a dangerous and evolving threat to many countries around the world. Pyongyang’s cyber attacks are growing in both technological sophistication and scale, forcing the international community to devise strong measures. North Korean cybercriminals infiltrate a broad range of targets, including government agencies, state infrastructure, tech firms, national security networks, defense industries, aerospace industries, supply chains, and virtual assets in numerous countries ranging from Korea, the U.S., Japan, China, Russia, Vietnam, the Middle East, Latin America to Africa.

North Korea’s cyber capabilities are being developed to ensure the regime’s survival, rather than as a means to become a tech powerhouse paving the way for economic growth. Cyber operations have enabled North Korea to not only disrupt its adversaries’ military but also undermine the targets’ economic and political systems. This is because, unlike other military means, cyber operations could take place in both peacetime and wartime and immediately cause damage to the target. North Korean cyber attacks have stolen vast sums of virtual assets from many institutions around the world to fund the regime’s nuclear and missile programs, and this inseparable link between Pyongyang’s cyber heist and its weapons of mass destruction explains why the international community has failed to effectively curb the North’s nuclear and missile provocations.

This article aims to identify the objectives of North Korean cyber activities, how they function, and the level of North Korea’s cyber offensive capabilities; discuss the latest developments in the ROK government’s response to North Korean cyber threats and its collaboration with the U.S. and the international community in the cyber domain; and introduce a set of measures the ROK government could take to deal with ever-evolving cyber threats posed by the North Korean regime.

This paper was published by IFANS. IFANS retains the copyright to this paper and invites readers to share and cite the work with attribution to both the author(s) and IFANS