Author Archives: Scott

New North Korean Propaganda Posters Added

New images, with translations and explanations, added to the North Korean Propaganda Posters page both here on the site, and in the much larger Facebook album.

Death of Kim Il-sung in 1994


The unlikeliest of images – a tall Kim Jong-il has rushed to the main public square overlooking Pyongyang to comfort the masses, distraught at the death of Kim Il-sung (in 1994). The younger Kim was, by nearly all accounts, quite reclusive, disliking the limelight and public appearances – making this one of the oddest, most unbelievable of NK propaganda posters.
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2009-2013 Internet attacks on South Korea part of ongoing cyber espionage campaign – McAfee Labs

McAfee, the Internet security company owned by Intel, has a research lab that just put out a report covering four years of hacking attacks aimed at South Korea. What previously appeared to be isolated attacks on media, banks, and government websites, many of them detailed here and in the report, are instead part of an ongoing 2009-2013 espionage campaign targeting military forces in South Korea in order to extract classified information. Targets included information on U.S. military forces and their operations in the South.

Image courtesy McAfee Labs

Image courtesy McAfee Labs



Through examining the evolving code used in the attacks, McAfee Labs found the attacks on South Korean banks, media, universities, elections, government, and other websites shared common source code, one encryption password, similar use of IRC botnets, consistent terminology, and a target set of military keywords. The report, on page 22, even lists the (somewhat poorly translated) Korean keywords used to target military operations in South Korea, including by U.S. forces.

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Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power

[Book Review] The author, David Sanger, appears to have better access to classified information than most gov’t intel analysts; he certainly has better access to policy makers and strategists. The coverage of cyber operations, especially Stuxnet and Olympic Games, is the most powerful and revealing section of the book – given that Sanger was at the forefront of breaking these stories in the media, hardly a surprise.

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UNESCO adds North Korea, Iranian sites to Heritage List

UNESCO added a group of sites in and around Kaesong, North Korea to the World Heritage List yesterday, citing their importance to “the transition from Buddhism to neo-Confucianism in East Asia and to the assimilation of the cultural spiritual and political values of the states that existed prior to Korea’s unification under the Koryo Dynasty.”

I’ve visited the area in and around the sites and will post a few photos below.

nk-koryomuseum
The Koryo Museum, located on the grounds of a palace complex just outside Kaesong.

 
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South Korea hit with cyber attacks on major banks, media outlets … again; North Korea blamed … again

UPDATE (10 April): The South made its preliminary case today that a North Korean espionage agency was behind the 20 March cyber attacks. According to the South’s report, the North began preparing for the attack last June, with systems testing beginning in late February. Of the 76 types of malicious code used in the attack, 30 were similar to previous attacks by the North, and 22 of 49 IP addresses overlapped with previous addresses used during cyber attacks traced to the North since 2009.

Graph courtesy Yonhap News

Graph courtesy Yonhap News



UPDATE (22 March): The South’s communications commission issued an update today declaring the cyber attack started from an IP address at a domestic bank (Nonghyup), not a Chinese address, as they reported yesterday. Meaning, aside from an irritated China and embarrassed Korean bureaucrats, that the attack erupted from a domestic source. How the code was placed on that server, by whom, and how it spread is still under investigation – an investigation likely to be much more circumspect in placing blame during future announcements.

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  • What’s the upside to blindsiding SK and Japan? - Looming war games suspension raises concern in Seoul https://t.co/WSIDsLqszO - posted on 15/06/2018

  • North Korea Relies on American Technology for Internet Operations https://t.co/kTdbP5K6Jt - posted on 07/06/2018

  • Alright, everybody chip in 20 points from Holiday Inn rewards ... https://t.co/aZy3He0P08 - posted on 02/06/2018

  • Analysis: North Korea sees US economic handouts as threat https://t.co/ROKtQTwen8 - posted on 29/05/2018

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