Threat Intelligence

Possible cyber angle eyed with North Korean missile failure

Some cybersecurity professionals are wondering if North Korea's recent attempt to launch a missile failed due to malware implanted by the United States, a claim rebutted by U.S. officials.

The missile launch was conducted at Sinpo, North Korea, a coastal city that has hosted previous missile tests. U.S. officials said the missile, described as a medium range model, detonated about five seconds after launch. The timing of the failed launch raised some eyebrows as the Trump administration had said there would be repercussions if North Korea attempted a missile launch or tested a nuclear weapon.

Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland declined to comment when asked directly by Fox News if the U.S. played any role in the missile's destruction.

With that said, McFarland also noted the increasing role cyberwarfare is playing in the world.

However, former British foreign minister Malcolm Rifkind told the BBC that while the missile could have failed due to a technical glitch, “there is a very strong belief that the U.S. – through cyber methods – has been successful on several occasions in interrupting these sorts of tests and making them fail.”

Rifkind cited no further proof of U.S. involvement.

The United States has used cyberweapons in the past, with the best known using the Stuxnet worm to damage Iran's nuclear program.

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