North Korean
Cyber Capabilities Estimate

Unit: 121
Established: 1998
Force Size: 12,000 declining
Cyber Budget: $56+ million.

Goal: To increase their military standing by advancing their asymmetric and cyber warfare

Experience: Hacked into South Korea and caused substantial damage; hacked into the U.S.Defense Department Systems.

Threat Rating: North Korea is ranked 8th on the cyber capabilities threat matrix developed in August 2007 and updated February

Cyber Intelligence/Espionage:
Basic to moderately advanced weapons with significant ongoing development into cyber intelligence.

Offensive Cyber Weapons:
North Korea now has the technical capability to construct and deploy an array of cyber weapons. They have moderately advanced
distributed denial of service (DDoS) capabilities with moderate virus and malicious
code capabilities. Hacking capabilities
are moderate to strong with an experience rating of limited to moderate.

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northkoreaNorth Korea warned the United Nations Security Council on April 7th, 2009 that itwould take "strong steps" if the fifteen nation body took any action in response to Pyongyang's launch of a long-range rocket three days earlier. The United Statesvoiced its displeasure calling the launch a "provocative act" that violated a 2006 Security Council resolution prohibiting Pyongyang from conducting ballistic missile launches. On April 13th, 2009 the United Nations Security Council in a “Presidential Letter” condemned North Korea's April 5th rocket launch and demanded that Pyongyang not conduct further tests, saying that it would expand existing sanctions against North Korea. The 15 member Security Council voted unanimously for the statement by the council's president demanding the country make no more launches. This response was one level below a formal resolution.

On April 17th, 2009 Washington increased pressure on North Korea by warning of “consequences” for its recent rocket launch and the latest decision to kick out nuclear inspectors. A State Department Spokesperson said that “North Korea has not listened to the will of the international community, and therefore it’s going to have to face the consequences from its unwillingness to meet the internationalcommunity’s requirements.” North Korea quickly respondedsaying any sanctions or pressure to be put upon it as a declaration ofundisguised confrontation and a declaration of a war against the DPRK.

The North Korean spokesman reportedly said, "There is no limit to the strike to be
made by the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK." North Korea has reacted
to the criticism with more than just words. They expelled all nuclear weapons
inspectors and declared that they will resume work on nuclear weapons.

Most military strategist agree that cyber attacks are an excellent first strike
weapon. In these specific circumstances, cyber attacks might be considered by
Pyongyang as an appropriate and proportional response to the U.N. Security
Council’s condemnation and reinforcement of existing sanctions. High probability
targets if DPRK launches cyber attacks include South Korea and the fifteen countries
that make up the current U.N. Security Council that include - permanent
members—China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United
States — and ten non-permanent members Austria, Japan, Uganda, Burkina Faso,
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Viet Nam, Costa Rica, Mexico, Croatia and Turkey. This
calls for increase vigilance by cyber security professionals guarding the critical
infrastructure of those targets identified above.