back to article Congressman calls for 'cyber-reprisals' against North Korea

A Republican congressman has urged the US to unleash a retaliatory cyber-attack against North Korea over DDoS attacks supposedly launched against US and South Korean websites. Congressman Peter Hoekstra of Michagan, the lead Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, urged President Obama to mount a "show of force" …


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  1. John A Blackley

    Could've saved space

    "A Republican congressman ............ the lead Republican on the House Intelligence Committee"

    That was all you had to write.

    By the way, it's 'Michigan'.

  2. Keith T

    What is really needed is more potent defences

    1. There needs to be an organization to co-ordinate ISP responses and isolate hacked computers from the internet.

    2. The defence intelligence community is doing all the monitoring it needs to to locate the bot net controllers. If the defence intelligence community is going to actively violating our right to privacy, then please give us some value in return.

    Let law enforcement use the digested results of that monitoring to track down the bot net controllers.

    3. If a bot net is controlled by people in a totally non-cooperative country, disconnect that country from the internet.

  3. jake Silver badge


    Peter "only 12 years" Hoekstra is a marketer, and a documented liar. This call for reprisals is nothing more than an advertisement for his upcoming run for Governor of the State of Michigan. Try not to give him (and other mediocre politicos like him) any more press, mkay? We're having enough of a hard time digging out of the mess the Bush administration left us in. Ta.

  4. Kurt Guntheroth

    clown-car drive by

    North Korea's cyber-attack (assuming it is NK) is just like their nuclear weapons and their rockets. They kinda almost work, only to fizzle, fall into the sea, or mildly annoy some federal webmasters on their july 4th vacation. North Korea are like scary clowns stuffed into a car, threatening a drive-by shooting. You don't know whether to laugh or be afraid.

    I think I shall continue to laugh until NK manage something more like an actual missile, or actual nuclear blast, or cyber-attack that actually takes something important off-line. If NK ever get to that level of scary, then I vote we unleash all the Republicans at once. The resulting threat-storm should surely cause even scary clowns to cry. If not, well, it's not 1953 anymore. Even the Russians and Chinese find NK a pain. The next war will be far more one-sided.

    Iran is way scarrier, if only because they're closer. Same problem with being clowns though.

    It's embarrassing. My parents' generation had enemies (Russians, Chinese) that were actually scary. How am I going to hold up my head when old dad whines, "In my day..."

  5. E 2

    NorK assets

    What would the USA retaliate against? NorK's web server?

  6. Christoph Silver badge

    So what's new?

    So the idea is for the USA to make a totally unjustified attack on a foreign country which had nothing to do with the original attack, and to make that attack ridiculously larger than the original.

    So why is this news?

  7. MrT

    Is there an election somewhere...?

    I remember Steve Gibson's site ( getting hammered by some skiddie or other, and also CastleCops suffered similar things (whilst I was staff editor there too) - they survived because they knew what they were talking about and took proper action to reduce the effects. Then at least in the case of CastleCops they took legal action against the perp and won. All very calmly and in an orderly, legal fashion.

    But that's not what the politicos go for - drum-beating all the way to the ballot-box.

    Of course there's no mileage in admitting that the defences of the affected sites was a bit on the lame side - so shout out about this new form of WMD like it'll hide the weak stuff by diverting all that national fervour elsewhere. Always an election-winner, isn't it?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    It wasn't North Korea.

    I happen to know a decent amount about these, and I know it was not North Korea or any other similar tinpot dictatorship. It was a fairly normal botnet attack, without any particular reason. As someone said, if they manage to troll America into destroying North Korea, they win at life. No political agenda, no North Korean government sponsored attack.

    /double checks anon. Don't want those black helicopters over here thank you.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just block NK's access to the Internet

    If you want to punish them just block there entire country from accessing the Web.

  10. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
    Black Helicopters


    Yeah, the US should unleash cyber hell on North Korea... hey, if they put all ships on the table, the mighty merkin cyberfarfarers might even be able to bring down a whole chunk of the network for a couple hours! (only it will be *their* network of course). That is, if a slightly autistic dreamer or another is not looking for alien info in their mighty secure systems at this time, paralyzing them completely.

    “old school time bomb”

    Shhhht! No-one tells the CIA, they might realize that their shiny new cyberwarfare tool is crap!

  11. Gannon (J.) Dick


    Plug our toilets, we'll bomb your outhouses!

    Makes a lot of sense. We'll both be using new outhouses.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You don't know any more than the rest of us.

    You don't know if the U.S. cyber police have hard evidence that N. Korea mounted the attack or not. They may have plenty of evidence or none. You certainly don't know.

  13. jake Silver badge

    Peter "12 years" Hoekstra

    I'll try again, seems my first attempt failed to pass the mods for some reason.

    ANYway, Peter Hoekstra is a documented liar, and a manager, with no knowledge of technology. This latest spiel of his is just an in-advance advert for his coming attempt to become the Governor of Michigan.

    Think about it ... "I tried to get the bastards bastards before they launched ..."

    Remember, this is the idiot who first claimed that large quantities of "weapons of mass destruction" had been found in Iraq. He's a political huckster of the first water. Please try not to give him (and his ilk) anymore ad space. Ta.

  14. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    @Just block their access


    Last I heard one of the Internet's strengths is that it is an, um, network.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @You don't know any more than the rest of us

    Quite so. But El Reg is unlikely to attack North Korea. Not on its own anyway.

  16. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    What is it about septics ?

    What is it that has some Americans in a permanent state of wanting to go and kick shit out of their "ideological enemies" at the drop of a hat and on the flimsiest pretexts ? Always eager to project American power in the style of an arrogant bully; burning torch and lynch rope at the ready.

    There's something seriously fucked-up with the American psyche. Not surprising many consider the USA to be the world's number one rogue nation and a danger to all of us.

  17. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    Can we keep the xenophobic epithets out of it, please? Go ahead with the sweeping statements and such, but that just weakens your argument to breaking point. Ta.

  18. Conrad Longmore

    Time to dig out an air raid shelter..

    Time to dig out an air raid shelter.. because it looks like the C&C server is in the UK!

  19. Christoph Silver badge

    @ It wasn't North Korea, @ Just block NK's access to the Internet, @ Jason Bloomberg

    "if they manage to troll America into destroying North Korea, they win at life"

    Maybe it's some kids that have got bored with calling in SWAT teams on random strangers and want to try SWATting a whole country?

    "just block there entire country from accessing the Web"

    Really bad idea. "The USA owns the Internet and can cut off anyone who annoys us" is not going to make them popular.

    "Americans in a permanent state of wanting to go and kick shit out of their "ideological enemies""

    A note in a New Scientist article on "The End of War" (4th July issue) says "human societies ... also behave much more aggressively toward rival groups if they are confident they can prevail".

    The USA has overwhelming military force, so they don't have anything to restrain them from attacking anyone who they don't like, or who happens to have some oil, or who doesn't grovellingly support them. And it's likely to get worse when they can send in military robots. There's no dead US troops for their voters to complain about, and there's no restraint on what they shoot. Someone playing video games in a base back in the US doesn't care anything like as much that the building he's blasting may be a school rather than a military target.

  20. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    @ Sara, Re : "Septics"

    Septics, as in septic tanks, as in rhyming slang for yanks. Is that xenophobic ? Wasn't intended to be. I have a mighty fine respect for *some* Americans; others unfortunately fit the stereotype.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Close to what is actually is there, with the first reply. It was mainly done for the lulz

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