N Korea Hackers Are Located In India: NYT


New Delhi: Cyber crime, or computer related crime, is crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Cybercrimes can be defined as: “Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm.

Recently Indian Government is finally taking a plan to create a new tri-service agency for cyber warfare. The Defence Cyber Agency will work in coordination with the National Cyber Security Advisor.

But North Korea launches few cyber attacks from its own soil. Instead it uses foreign computers. In India’s cases, often hackers are physically stationed in the country, launching cyber attacks on behalf of North Korea, reported the New York Times.

The most famous of these was a 2014 attack on Sony Pictures for producing a comedy film on a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-Un. The hack was so successful that Sony had to cancel the release of the film. On its part, the United States as well as South Korea has been using cyber warfare in order to try and hack the North’s nuclear as well as missile programme.

The New York Times reports cites a cyber security firm called Recorded Future to estimate that nearly a fifth of North Korea’s attacks originate from India. A report by the firm says:

“It is clear that North Korea has a broad physical and virtual presence in India. Characterised by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs as a relationship of ‘friendship, cooperation, and understanding’, the data we analysed supports the reports of increasingly close diplomatic and trade relationship between India and North Korea.

Patterns of activity suggest that North Korea may have students in at least seven universities around the country and may be working with several research institutes and government departments.”

The report, however, goes on to suggest that India might also be a victim, with Recorded Future detecting activity targeting the Indian Space Research Organisation’s National Remote Sensing Centre and the Indian National Metallurgical Laboratory. However, the report concluded that it “could not confirm malicious behavior” in this regards.

According to experts, North Koreans have developed an advanced cyber program that steals hundreds of millions of dollars and can trigger global havoc.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju admitted last month that there was a huge gap in India’s capability and capacity when it came to cyber warfare and it was imperative to narrow down this difference to discourage cyber attackers.

China has already developed strong cyber warfare capacity. The next war may well have to be fought on the internet where a country’s vital networks and infrastructure would be on target that will create bigger disruption those actual wars.