Every country in the world is building cyber armies, even the most disconnected. Hermit kingdom North Korea, which has only one outside link to the internet, is even joining the party.
On Tuesday it responded to a report, which we covered here, that it was the target of an unsuccessful Stuxnet-style cyber attack.
Stuxnet was a virus inserted into Iran's nuclear control computers, which ran its uranium enrichment centrifuges at improper speeds, irreparably damaging them. It is widely considered the most successful state-sponsored cyber attack known.
North Korea's largest daily newspaper published an article on Tuesday, which said it would wage a cyber war against the United States. While this is usual rhetoric, the country has recently been blamed for several large attacks, including a devastating hack of Sony Pictures. That attack was in response to a parody film about the assassination of rotund dictator Kim Jong-un.
Aside from the Sony attack, most of its hacks have been against arch-enemy South Korea.
“The DPRK can react to any forms of wars, operations and battles sought by the U.S. imperialists,” the newspaper said. DPRK is an somewhat ironic acronym for the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“It is the firm determination of the DPRK to wage Korean-style cyber war to hasten the final ruin of the U.S. and the forces following it, who attempted to bring down the former with the cyber war,” it went on to say.
The article appeared in Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling Workers Party of Korea. The paper is a key propaganda mouthpiece for the ruling elite.
“The U.S. is greatly mistaken if it thinks the DPRK will just overlook with folded arms the provocations in the cyber space,” the Rodong Sinmun concluded.
While its no match for the United States, North Korea's lack of internet connectivity makes cyber war against the country difficult. While over 5,500 North Korean cyber-warriors use Chinese computers to attack America, the single connection to the country and tiny use of computers makes it a difficult target for cyber attacks.