In recent days I have discussed the increasing tension between China and the Philippines for a territorial dispute and related effects which have had significant repercussions in cyber space. Just the Asia-Pac region is among those area that are of main concerns in its military and cyber warfare.
This time to discuss is the historical tension between the two Koreas, we remind all the military exercises that North Korea has made last month testing and launching new missiles.
Despite the arms race the experts are convinced that North Korea will adopt a different strategy to stress the South Korea, it will not use conventional weapons but they will increase offensive operations in the cyber space.
Kim Jong-dae, editor in chief of the military defense journal Defense 21+, reported to the Press TV:
“North Korea might provoke South Korea by attacking the navy or islands in the west sea or they could launch a cyber attack to disturb South Korean society.”
The discussion follows the recent attacks that hit South Korea and its satellite structures, the country in fact reported communication interferences caused by jamming of signals in commercial flights and ships with navigation system. A large number of cyber attacks have hit South Korea from North Korea near its border affecting the GPS navigation for passenger aircraft, ships, and in-car navigation.
Fortunately no accidents have been attributed to jammed navigation signals aboard 337 commercial flights in and out of South Korean international airports, on 122 ships, including a passenger liner carrying 287 people and a petroleum tanker.
This is not the first time, South Korea faced with same type of attacks in March 2011, and in August and December of 2010. According the South Korean Defense Ministry the country is adopting anti-jam programs to counter the attacks. The Communications Commission deputy director declared that they have traced the jamming signals to the direction of Kaesong, 10 kilometers from the border between the two countries, and roughly 50 kilometers from downtown Seoul, Incheon International Airport, and the Yellow Sea. Is not clear who is providing jamming technology to North Korea, the likely suspects are Russia and China.
A defector has declared that North Korea has increased its cyber warfare unit to staff 3,000 people and it is massive training its young prodigies to become professional hackers.
Intelligence sources in South Korea believe that the Nation has a large a cyber force that responds to the command of the country’s top intelligence agency, the General Reconnaissance Bureau.
According the revelation of Army General James Thurman, the commander of US Forces Korea, the government of Pyongyang is massive investing in cyber warfare capabilities, recruiting and forming high skilled team of hackers. A defector has declared that North Korea has increased its cyber warfare unit to staff 3,000 people and it is massive training its young prodigies to become professional hackers.
Groups of hackers could be engaged in offensive cyber operation against hostile government and in cyber espionage activities.
Analyzing the events is clear that the situation in that area is becoming difficult to manage and it is necessary the intervention of the major countries like US and China, for this reason Leon Panetta, United States Secretary of Defense, and Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie has an official meeting.
“The United States and China are powers in the Pacific and our goal is to establish a constructive relationship for the future,” Panetta said. “It is essential for our two nations to communicate effectively on a range of very challenging issues.”
Regarding the cyber capabilities of the countries Panetta said:
“But because the United States and China have developed technological capabilities in this arena it’s extremely important that we work together to develop ways to avoid any miscalculation or misperception that could lead to crisis,”
In that occasion the Chinese representative refused any accusation of cyber operations against US, Panetta reiterated that many countries and hackers were involved in cyber attacks on the United States and China.
Other worrying situations discussed during the meeting at the Pentagon were the evolution of North Korea’s nuclear programs, U.S. missile Defense efforts, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and territorial dispute between China and Philippines.
Official sources declared that US is really worried about Chinese development of conventional weapons and cyber weapons, a senior U.S. Defense official said:
“We’d like to be able to understand a little bit more about why the Chinese are investing in this very robust and rapid military modernization program given the security environment that we see in the Asia-Pacific today, which is a region that’s at peace,”
On the other side China is concerned about US strategic and its interferences in the Asia-Pacific region, that is why meeting like this are really important for the future equilibrium in a critical area such as in the cyberspace.
The situation is complex, because while the dialogue continues between the main protagonists, at least in cyberspace, the hostilities did not cease. The U.S. still blames China for major attacks on their computer networks, China continues to pursue a policy to protect America’s historical enemies, like Iran and North Korea itself, supporting them technologically and US still making massive investing in the production of new cyber weapons.
At least in cyber space, peace is far.