Exclusive: North Korea's Unit 180, the cyber warfare cell that worries the West



Central Square PyongyangJu-min Park and James Pearson from Reuters wrote a remarkable piece that you need to know about.

They wrote: "North Korea's main spy agency has a special cell called Unit 180 that is likely to have launched some of its most daring and successful cyber attacks, according to defectors, officials and internet security experts.

North Korea has been blamed in recent years for a series of online attacks, mostly on financial networks, in the United States, South Korea and over a dozen other countries.

Cyber security researchers have also said they have found technical evidence that could link North Korea with the global WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries this month. Pyongyang has called the allegation "ridiculous".

The crux of the allegations against North Korea is its connection to a hacking group called Lazarus that is linked to last year's $81 million cyber heist at the Bangladesh central bank and the 2014 attack on Sony's Hollywood studio. The U.S. government has blamed North Korea for the Sony hack and some U.S. officials have said prosecutors are building a case against Pyongyang in the Bangladesh Bank theft."

The U.S. Department of Defense said in a report submitted to Congress last year that North Korea likely "views cyber as a cost-effective, asymmetric, deniable tool that it can employ with little risk from reprisal attacks, in part because its networks are largely separated from the Internet".

"It is likely to use Internet infrastructure from third-party nations," the report said.

South Korean officials say they have considerable evidence of North Korea's cyber warfare operations.

"North Korea is carrying out cyber attacks through third countries to cover up the origin of the attacks and using their information and communication technology infrastructure," Ahn Chong-ghee, South Korea's vice foreign minister, told Reuters in written comments." 

It is more and more likely that the North Koreans are behind the WanaCry ransomware attack. You should read the whole article here. 


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