North Korea poised to attack U.S.

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North Korea is ready to launch an army of well-trained hackers on the U.S., according to a military expert.

Byun Jae-Jung, a researcher for South Korea's Agency for Defence Development said at least a hundred state funded soldiers had gained a sufficient degree of expertise to launch attacks on U.S. infrastructure.

"Our electronic warfare simulation indicates that North Korea's capability has reached a substantial level, unlike what is generally known to the outside world," Byun told the Defense Information Security Conference 2005 held yesterday at Korea University in Seoul.

According to the Korean Times an electronic warfare academy known as Pyongyang College (formerly Mirim College) now has over 500 trained "cyber soldiers."

But some security experts claim that an attack on the U.S. infrastructure is far from imminent.

"We've known for a long time that North Korea is involved in such a program and I've no doubt they've reached a certain level of sophistication," said Richard Starnes, president of the ISSA UK. "I seriously doubt they would have a detailed idea of U.S. systems or be able to mount an offensive attack."

According to Starnes, in the three areas of information warfare (offense, defense and intelligence) the North Korean's would have most success at gathering information, perhaps via honeypots that track U.S. activity.

"There's a practise of dangling the bait and seeing if another country bites," Starnes said. "Many countries are engaged in projects to assess the capabilities of others."

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