The World Once Laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No More. – The New York Times

“When North Korean hackers tried to steal $1 billion from the New York Federal Reserve last year, only a spelling error stopped them. They were digitally looting an account of the Bangladesh Central Bank, when bankers grew suspicious about a withdrawal request that had misspelled “foundation” as “fandation.”

Even so, Kim Jong-un’s minions still got away with $81 million in that heist.Then only sheer luck enabled a 22-year-old British hacker to defuse the biggest North Korean cyberattack to date, a ransomware attack last May that failed to generate much cash but brought down hundreds of thousands of computers across dozens of countries — and briefly crippled Britain’s National Health Service.

Their track record is mixed, but North Korea’s army of more than 6,000 hackers is undeniably persistent, and undeniably improving, according to American and British security officials who have traced these attacks and others back to the North.Amid all the attention on Pyongyang’s progress in developing a nuclear weapon capable of striking the continental United States, the North Koreans have also quietly developed a cyberprogram that is stealing hundreds of millions of dollars and proving capable of unleashing global havoc.”

Scary. Here are three comments I endorsed.

Donald J. Bluff

BLUFF TOWER 6 hours ago

Every password-protected account (email, bank, retail, etc.) should send a text message to the account holder’s smartphone the instant someone logs into the account. It would not stop all hackers, but it would notify account holders if/when something is amiss.

Private companies that discover they have been hacked should be required to notify the FBI within 24 hours, or face a $1 million daily fine. The fine would be split with private whistleblowers, and announced in the press as a warning to customers. Government officials who fail to notify the FBI of a breach of their agency’s computers within 24 hours should be fired and lose their government pension.

Amateur hour for the internet has come to an end. The top infrastructure need of the USA is a secure internet backbone.

Hugh Massengill

Eugene Oregon 6 hours ago

If I wander over to my neighbor’s property and plant a surveillance camera, I have no right to complain if they do the same.
We murdered Iranian scientists who were working on peaceful nuclear devices, just so Israel could be the only power in the Middle East with hundreds of nuclear bombs aimed at its neighbors. Iran has every right to fear the US and to defend itself against its regional enemy, Israel. I have no link to Iran, but have a hunch that one day we will have a documentary series on our fight with them that rivals the latest Ken Burns series outlining the absolute stupidity of American leaders’ actions there.
All this is not done in my name. We now are at war with many countries, including Iran, Russia, and North Korea, and my representatives in Congress never got to vote on these attacks.
We created this horrid cyberwar nightmare, and one day we will reap its whirlwind.
America is as stupid today as it was when we thoughtlessly invaded Vietnam.
Hugh Massengill, Eugene Oregon

NYT Pick


is a trusted commenter Eastern Tn 6 hours ago

Cyber warfare is subtle and devastating.

It is far more likely to affect each one of us than any physical terrorist event. Yet we are still reactionary to such attacks, versus being pro-active to protect against them. I suppose this is an American trait with blinders on until something horrible happens.

NK is not the only country or even entity we should be concerned with either.

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