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US Army Says North Korea Has Hackers and Electronic Warfare Specialists Working and Operating Abroad


In a report published a month ago by the US Army said North Korea has at least 6,000 hackers and electronic warfare specialists working in its ranks with a large number of these are operating in nations, like Belarus, China, India, Malaysia, and Russia. 
The report is a tactical manual that the US Army uses to train their troops and military pioneers, and which the Army has made public for the first time just the previous month. 

Named "North Korean Tactics," the 332-page report consists of a 'treasure trove' of data about the Korean People's Army (KPA) like the military strategies, weaponry, leadership structure, troop types, logistics, and electronic warfare capacities. 

By far most of the report manages exemplary military tactics and capacities; the report likewise highlights North Korea's clandestine hacking units. "Most EW [electronic warfare] and cyberspace warfare operations take place within the Cyber Warfare Guidance Unit, more commonly known as Bureau 121," the US Army said. 

This evaluation is equivalent to the past reports from the intelligence and cybersecurity communities, which have additionally connected all of North Korea's hackers back to Bureau 121, a division of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a North Korean intelligence agency that is a part of the National Defence Commission. 

The US Armed force says Bureau 121 has developed exponentially lately, as North Korea has expanded it’s the cyberspace exercises. According to the report, Bureau 121 developed from "at least 1,000 elite hackers in 2010" to more than 6,000 members today. 

The number is a steady one with comparable figures published by the South Korean Defence Ministry, which said that North Korea was operating a cyberwarfare staff of 3,000 out of 2013, a number that later multiplied to 6,000 by 2015. 

Notwithstanding, the US Army as of now believes that it's 6,000 figure isn't totally accurate. Army officials state that they have estimates for the internal divisions within Bureau 121, numbers that seem to have not been released previously, until the previous month. 

They don't have an exact number for the members part of the Lazarus Group sub-division, yet this group is the one, for the most part, the one to which North Korean authorities turn "to create social chaos by weaponizing enemy network vulnerabilities and delivering a payload if directed to do so by the regime." 

While the US Army report doesn't go a lot into details on why the Pyongyang regime lets military hackers travel abroad, there are previous reports and court documents that have gone into these details, with the Pyongyang regime utilizing its hackers to set up shell companies that serve both as cover when setting up 'foreign-based server infrastructure', yet in addition as 'intermediary entities in money laundering operations'. 

In any case, while the US Army report acknowledges that North Korean hackers have been engaged with financial cybercrime, Armed officials go significantly further and outline the whole North Korean government as a criminal network, with the Kim regime being associated with a wide scope of activities that likewise incorporated drug trading, counterfeiting, and human trafficking, and not simply the variety of cybercrime.

52 Hackers get into the US Army system in the last 5 weeks


Last year, during October and November, 52 hackers were able to hack the US army. "It only strengthens our security systems as the hackers who hacked our systems did it on ethical principles, as the participants of second 'Hack the Army' event that is taking place since the year 2016," says the spokesperson of the US Department of Defense Defense Digital Service.



In today's world of cyber attacks and hacking, it is right to assume that inviting hackers to try and invade your system's security is not safe, not even for the US army. The hackers don't need a mere invite to hack into any organizations' cybersecurity. This statement raises a bit of doubt as lately, the US government warned users to update specific Virtual Private Network (VPN), or suffer from persistent cybersecurity attacks. Also, recently, the New York airport and New Orleans city suffered a cyberattack.

But still, there exists a plan in this obvious cyber insanity. 'Hack Army 2.0' was a mutual undertaking between the U.S. Army, a bug bounty program called 'HackerOne,' and the Defense Digital Service.

What is HackerOne?
In simple words, HackerOne is a platform where various exploits or vulnerabilities can be tested by hackers. This platform has allowed some of its best hackers to win millions of dollars. Surprisingly, one hacker was even able to hack the program itself. This reflects the caliber and potential of the hackers, who register in HackeOne.
Therefore, the whole reason for organizing 'Hack Army 2.0' is to find out any threats or vulnerabilities that might affect the security of the US army. This is crucial as it ensures the US army from other unethical hackers and national threats, for instance, Iran.

146 bugs detected, the Army pays $275,000-
The results after this drill revealed that a total number of 60 open US army assets were under the potential threat of hacking. The US army rewarded the hackers a total amount of $274,000 for their efforts. "The assistance of hackers can be helpful for the Army to increase its defense systems exceeding fundamental agreement lists to attain maximum security," said the spokesperson Alex Romero.