Sunday, January 9, 2011

North and South Korea Skirmish in Cyberspace

As reported by Yonhap News, in a story that is likely to get wide international exposure, hackers (reportedly South Korean) have breached North Korea's official Twitter and YouTube accounts.  Moreover, as The Washington Post noted, they did so on the birthday of heir apparent, Kim Jong Eun.  North Korea's use of Twitter and YouTube was noted in earlier posts and today's news is just the latest evidence that the two nations are taking their conflict into the realm of cyberspace.
Put on the North's YouTube account as early as Friday, a two-minute-long animation depicted Kim Jong-un as a ruthless killer driving a sports car and teasing his father to buy him fancy birthday gifts. On Twitter, the North's account -- which normally carried tweets praising Kim Jong-il and denouncing South Korea and the United States -- sent out feeds that called on North Koreans to rise against the Kim dynasty and put an end to poverty.
The high-tech war of nerves involving South Korean hackers, if confirmed, could indicate a new phase in the long running rivalry between North and South Korea.  Yonhap reported that one South Korean user wrote on Nate, another internet portal, that "we have done what our defense ministry was unable to do."  Others hailed the hacking as retaliation for North Korea's recent artillery attack on a South Korean island in the West Sea.

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