North Korea steps forward as new cyberwar villian

March DDOS against South Korea may have been dry run for real attack

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There is no hard evidence pointing to North Korea as the source of the attack – or that it was responsible for a very similar one in 2009 launched by a much more simplistic botnet but much wider range of targets.

"When you look at who might do that, one actor jumps off the page," Alperovitch told IDGNS. "The North Korean government would want to see if a future conflict could have a cyber impact as well as a real-life impact."

"The combination of technical sophistication juxtaposed with relatively limited execution and myopic outcome is analogous to bringing a Lamborghini to a go-cart race," the report concludes colorfully. "As such, the motivations appear to outweigh the attack, making this truly seem like an exercise to test and observe response capabilities."

Doesn't that make you feel better about the distant possibility of significant cyberwar attacks on the West?

I mean, who cares that the attack came from a radically oppressive, heavily militarized hereditary dictatorship tucked out of the shipping lanes but close enough to the Big Tiger for Beijing to watch someone attack Americanized military forces with digital weapons?

Does one little DDOS across the DMZ necessarily mean China, North Korea or anyone else will be watching to see how coordinated digital and kinetic attacks combine to increase a target's multimodal Fubar potential?

Or does it just mean we have one more shadowy figure to populate the post Cold-War conspiracy ecosystem?

If the attack does turn out to be North Korean, and does turn out to be significant in what is turning the Internet into an online game of Risk played with pixels and bits instead of plastic pawns, I just hope I'm wrong in the assumption that I know who gets to be the pawns.

Photo Credit: 

Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters

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