(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel is carefully watching the North Korea-US cyber war, concerned Pyongyang could share its hacking expertise with Middle East actors hostile to Israel.
North Korea has close ties to both Iran and Syria.
According to sources in Jerusalem, the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures – which Washington has attributed to North Korea – shows Pyongyang’s cyber hacking capabilities as well as the degree to which it ignores international norms and regulations governing the issue. North Korea – furious over Sony’s comedy The Interview, about an assassination plot against its dictator, Kim Jong-un – denies the allegations.
The cyber attack is believed to have been discussed Monday when Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met with visiting South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se in Jerusalem.
Asked about the issue by The Jerusalem Post, Foreign Minister spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said that Liberman “condemns North Korea’s cyber attacks against the US which underscore the continuing threat caused by North Korea to international peace and security.”
According to the South Korean paper The Korea Herald, military authorities in Seoul estimate that its northern neighbor has nearly doubled the number of its cyber-warfare operatives to around 5,900 over the past two years, in an attempt to strengthen its asymmetric military capabilities.
According to the report, North Korea came to the conclusion that with its debilitated economy, the most cost-effective way for it to counter its more affluent, better-equipped adversaries – South Korea and the US – is through cyberwarfare.
South Korean banks and the websites of major businesses and government offices there have been the target of a numerous cyber attacks over the past few years, widely believed to have originated in North Korea.