Pyongyang is ramping up its cyber warfare.
Last week, a White House official blamed North Korea for the WannaCry attack in May and noted that Facebook and Microsoft recently took action against the North Korean-linked Lazarus hacker group.
In September, security company FireEye discovered spear phishing e-mails sent to US electric utilities “by known cyber threat actors likely affiliated with the North Korean government”. The company said it stopped the attacks. It remains unclear what information, if any, the hackers obtained.
The potential for North Korea to destroy critical infrastructure without a nuclear weapon has largely been ignored, yet Pyongyang has the cyber capability to cause serious damage.
In 2014, a cyber attack on Sony Pictures destroyed files and leaked e-mails online. The US blamed North Korea for it.
Overall, North Korea’s isolation makes it hard for the US to come up with an effective strategy to counter its cyber attacks.
Washington has had to