back to article NORKS cyber mayhem cost South Korea £500m

North Korea’s supposed 3,000-strong army of highly trained hackers has caused financial damage to its southern neighbour amounting to over £500 million over the past four years, according to a South Korean lawmaker. Citing figures provided by the defence ministry’s cyber warfare unit, Chung Hee-soo of the ruling Saenuri Party …


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  1. Chairo

    It’s also notoriously difficult to quantify the financial impact of cyber attacks

    Just ask the RIAA. They are experts in breaking down vague claims into exact dollars and cents.

  2. Ralph B

    Other Uses of Firewalls

    Firewalls are usually employed to keep the bad guys out. But couldn't they also be used to keep the bad guys in? i.e. The international community could get together to block any internet connection coming out of North Korea?

    I suppose this would be bad news for any NK protestor seeking support from the Rest of the World, but it's not as if the Rest of the World has ever given them any meaningful support, is it? So, just cutting them off from the InterWebs would be a simple implementation of unspoken policy anyhow, wouldn't it?

    (I long ago blocked any access to my personal websites from any ip address ranges allocated to China as honing any finer level filtering just didn't seem to be worth the effort. However, I can see that we might be somewhat inconvenienced in getting our Shiny Stuff if we stopped accepting calls from the people who actually make it for us.)

    1. wolfetone

      Re: Other Uses of Firewalls

      I long ago blocked any access to my personal websites from any ip address ranges allocated to China

      Don't tell George Osborne about this, he won't be happy.

    2. Bumpy Cat

      Re: Other Uses of Firewalls

      One answer: China. China would never firewall off NK. All internet access to NK goes through China, and some of the NK units are apparently even working from China.

      China backs NK to the hilt, regardless of the cost. The thought of facing a unified democratic Korea terrifies China, for economic, social and strategic reasons. Also, they still pay lip service to the communist alliance, even though China is now a gerontocratic kleptocracy and NK a dystopian Confucian autocracy.

      Kim Jong Un could sleep with Xi Jinping's wife and kick his dog and China would still support NK. Hell, in addition to their worldwide low-key heroin operation, NK runs a massive crystal meth distribution network in neighbouring provinces of China, and STILL China does nothing.

      1. Lars Silver badge

        Re: Other Uses of Firewalls

        The only way to change NK is through trade, open the boarders for trade. In human history that has never failed. "China does nothing" I think is a silly thing to say, they could nuke it, they could win a war in the NK like Bush in Irak, but NK will eventually change from the inside. All we have to do is to keep the internet open and try to open the boarders in any possible way. You can fool some people .... and so forth.

  3. Katie Saucey

    "A DDoS attack on 7 July 2009 came next on the list, apparently causing 50bn won’s (£29m) worth of damage"

    Pretty impressive for a room full of VIC 20's.

    1. stizzleswick
      Black Helicopters

      "Pretty impressive for a room full of VIC 20's."

      I know it's a joke... but one should remember that NK has the largest percentile spending on military in the world. Their crackers probably have access to better hardware than MOSSAD, and that should be going quite a long way.

      Just because NK is an operetta kingdom shouldn't blind us to the fact that they're a bloody dangerous operetta kingdom.

      1. Simon Ball

        Pull the other one.....

        100% of a small number is still a small number. The economy of North Korea is an embarrassment to the term "basket case". A post-apocalyptic barter economy would probably be more efficient. NK does not have the technology to produce modern IT gear itself, and the foreign currency necessary to purchase such gear from the rest of the world is restricted to what it can acquire through theft and drug dealing. I very much doubt that their offensive cyber-warfare capabilities are anything to write home about.

        NK simply has fewer compunctions about using what capabilities it does have, since, lacking any civil (or even military) IT infrastructure, it is essentially immune to retaliation in kind.

      2. Euripides Pants Silver badge

        Re: NK has the largest percentile spending on military in the world

        The cartoon ain't a perfect match, but it gets the point across...

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