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Bargaining happens from a position of strength & North Korea believes in this dictum. US now comes within its nuke striking capabilities. Trump was forced crisis cross the world to meet Kim Jong Un in Singapore & make a summit declaration, leading to what & when nobody knows. All the attention revolves around its developing nuclear weapons capable of striking the continental US. It’s dramatic entry into the cyber arena remains an unknown story, already has legendary proportions. The strategy is two pronged.

North Korea has quietly developed a cyber program, that is stealing hundreds of millions of dollars & is capable of unleashing global havoc. North Korean army of over 6000 hackers are undeniably persistent & improving with every hack. The world once laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No more.

It has been a litany of attacks, the most brazen one occurred in Feb 2016. $101 million was fraudulently transferred out of the Bangladesh Central Bank’s account at the New York Federal Reserve & moved to Sri Lanka & the Philippines, most of it has not been recovered. Similar tactics were used to attack banks in Ecuador, the Philippines & Vietnam. An attack on Sony Pictures brought the movie studio to its knees in 2014. At that time Sony was about to release, ”The Interview,” a comedy plot to kill Kim Jong Un. The hackers stole movie scripts, entire films, internal memos, personal information on movie stars & Sony employees &wiped the computers.

Lazarus, a hackers collective, the ISIS of the Cyber World, is a North Korean creation. An expert in hacking financial institutions globally, technical perfection a commendable. Routing signals they have mastered. They did spear phishing attack on Polish Banking Regulatory Authority. South Korean’s military intranet was also hacked. With the country’s primitive infrastructure, it is barely vulnerable to cyber retaliation& as a raft of sanctions are already imposed, sanctions are also of no useful response.


Sanjay Sahay

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