Cyberwarfare is Cheaper and Safer than Nuclear Weapons
How does South Korea's BoB play in this war?
The new army consists of mostly young hackers to fight in cyberspace. In 2009, North Korea's "cyber command" expanded to 1,000 for a total of 3000 professional hackers. The weapons of warfare in cyberspace use malicious computer codes loaded with commands and viruses, far cheaper with little physical destruction for North Korea and others than building nuclear devices. Hackers use penetration, botnets, weaponization and other techniques to attack adversaries. For a long time, hackers were thought of rogue people out to have fun, cause trouble because they want to prove something or target a grudge. They usually were teens. However, now governments take them seriously and actively recruit them via hacking contests or sponsored hacker schools. One such school is South Korea's BoB, or Best of the Best at Korea University in Seoul. The US Homeland Security has made public that numerous cyber attacks have all originated from the Middle East region, most notably Iran. They recently tried to sabotage oil and electrical companies here and against Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The most notable leaders in hacking and cyberwar are HD Moore and Seung-Ji Lee (aka GrayHash).Lee is a young professor Korea University and BoB, HD Moore is a CTO! at Another is Xiobo Chen from China with only a high school education. All were teens when they proved their hacking abilities by accessing government systems for fun, now, it is their job to help them fight off attacks at the old age of 30 yrs.
Recently, cyber warriors from the US, Europe, and South Korea used their malware to shut down 32,000 computers and servers at three major South Korean TV networks and three banks. Communications were disrupteded between SK and others and computer forensics suspect NK was also part of it. North Korea has attacked SK several times in cyberspace since 2009. These cyber attacks are ideal for rogue states because of their stealth and are anonymous. The cyber attacks can be targeted against military, governmental, educational and commercial institutions electronically making very easy and cost effective. The Korea Internet Security Agency, a state watchdog, said it had recorded 40,000 cases of cyber-attacks from foreign and domestic sources in 2012, up sharply from 24,000 in 2008.
Iran, like NK, have their cyber army and have built a sophisticated network to keep its people from accessing the outside Internet. They have recently attacked various US targets that have tried to create malfunctions in industrial manufacturing, which in turn, cause major problems. So far, they have failed. America has attacked Iran's nuclear weapons program causing a costly loss of centrifuges because they malfunctioned when spinning. Computer hackers armed with code penetrated their firewall and instructed Iran's computers operating the centrifuges to spin out of spec.
South Korea's BoB program really seeks the best of the best in cyberwarfare. Each each thousands of teens or 20-somethings submit their applications for the intense course. That is all they learn. From the thousands, only 60 are accepted, but the weeding out process continues during the course with eliminating competitions. If you fail, you are dropped from the course. These students will learn vulnerability analysis, digital forensics and cloud-computing security. After six months, only 20 students remain, and then, after eight months the final weeding out competition will yield the top six winners. Each will received $18,000 from the Korean Information Technology Research Institute (KITRI). These students who win will be offered entry level jobs with the Korean government or are free to what they want.
South Korea created its own cyber command in early 2010 in a partnership with Korea University, established another cyber warfare school in 2012 that admits 30 students every year.
Cyber warfare is still in its infancy but advancing quickly.