Former WH national security deputy: Pyongyang may be behind cyber-attacks in South Korea

Hal Libby Contributor
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A former White House national security expert told The Daily Caller that recent cyber-attacks launched against South Korean newspapers could have been the work of North Korea.

“The North Koreans certainly do have the capability to do this,” said Stephen Yates, formerly deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for national security affairs. Yates is now CEO of DC International Advisory, a global risk management firm.

The hacking attacks crippled two South Korean newspapers’ websites Saturday. The databases of both were cleared of all old articles and data, Korea JoongAng Daily reported. Their home pages were replaced with the image of a white, smiling cat and a note claiming they were “Hacked by IsOne.”

The attack came a few days after North Korean officials criticized the two news agencies for comparing Kim Jong Un to Adolf Hitler.

The Atlantic reported online that North Korea threatened artillery strikes, not a technological assault, against the South — and expressed doubt that Pyongyang has the proper personnel and hacking prowess to pull off the attack.

Yates, however, told TheDC that Kim Jong Un’s regime is capable. If he’s right, North Korea’s hackers are already looking ahead to next time: A message left on the two news websites implied further attacks on the “19th” and “29th,” although it did not specify a month.

Yet, even with the North Koreans having the ability to launch this type of operation, a detail of the hacking casts their culpability into doubt. Once the mysterious hacker completed the destruction of the news companies websites, our culprit posted a picture of a white cat accompanied by text that read “Hacked by IsOne” with unknown code underneath on the comprised news site as shown by Korea JoongAng Daily.