BY LIZZIE DEARDEN
Thousands of military hackers in North Korea could launch cyber attacks that could “kill people and destroy cities”, a defector has warned.
Professor Kim Heung-Kwang saw his brightest computing students picked for Bureau 121 to become “cyber warriors” for Kim Jong-un before he fled the country in 2004.
“The size of the cyber-attack agency has increased significantly, and now has approximately 6,000 people,” he told BBC Click. Kim Heung-Kwang, head of a Seoul-based defectors’ group called North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity Kim Heung-Kwang taught students who were picked for Kim Jong-un’s cyber warfare unit
“The reason North Korea has been harassing other countries is to demonstrate that North Korea has cyber war capacity.
“Their cyber-attacks could have similar impacts as military attacks, killing people and destroying cities.”
Professor Kim, who taught at Hamheung Computer Technology University, believes hackers are building malware based on the “Stuxnet” attack on Iranian nuclear centrifuges, which was attributed to the US and Israel.
Although the threat is theoretical, up to 20 per cent of North Korea’s military budget is believed to go into online operations.
The government dismissed accusations that it was behind last year’s Sony Pictures hack as “groundless slander” but praised the attack as a “righteous deed”.
It delayed the release of The Interview, offering a comedy take on the fictional assassination of Kim.
Known attacks have targeted South Korean infrastructure and Seoul blames its northern neighbour for a hack on a hydro and nuclear power plant earlier this year. In his pre-Christmas briefing, Barack Obama warned North Korea it would face retaliation over a cyber attack on Sony Pictures and pledged not to bow to dictators, as an envoy for Pyongyang denied involvement Barack Obama warned North Korea it would face retaliation over a cyber attack on Sony Pictures
The warning came as an American research institute said satellite imagery showed significant new construction at North Korea’s main rocket launch site for a possible space programme.
The secretive state has been banned from launching rockets or technology that could launch ballistic missiles by the UN Security Council but Kim declared this month that its space programme “can never be abandoned”.
Pyongyang claims work at the Sohae launch site, which blasted its first rocket into space in December 2012, is peaceful.
In Seoul on Wednesday, nuclear envoys from South Korea, the US and Japan urged Pyongyang to engage in serious negotiations on its nuclear weapons.
Additional reporting by AP
Contest planned for this weekend
BY JOHN HAYWARD
Fox News reports exclusively obtaining a bulletin from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and National Counterterrorism Center warning of an extremely high volume of terrorist “chatter” on pro-ISIS social media. There is so much activity that our intelligence agencies are having a hard time keeping up with it all… and a great deal of the social media noise is coming from within our borders.
“The large number of social media postings by US-based ISIL supporters is challenging for investigators in differentiating those supporters focused only on promoting pro-ISIL rhetoric, which may be protected speech, [versus] detecting those prepared to engage in violence on the group’s behalf,” the bulletin advised according to Fox News.
The agencies also warned that ISIS was making very effective use of social media in its recruiting efforts, connecting with “hundreds, possibly thousands” of potential recruits and “lone wolf” jihadis within the United States.
ISIS is said to be using the Internet in “unprecedented ways” to call for attacks on American soil – a disturbing idea the Fox report does not detail any further, and unfortunately the network has only posted the first page of the bulletin. The same language was used by FBI Director James Comey in early May, after the Islamist attack in Garland, Texas; on that occasion, the “unprecedented” evil innovation he had in mind involved ISIS sending messages directly to the “smartphones of ‘disturbed people’ who could be pushed to launch assaults on the U.S.,” as USA Today reported.
It would appear that some portions of the bulletin Fox News obtained repeat statements made by intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the wake of the Garland attack, which appears to have been taken as a very serious wake-up call by the counter-terrorism community. The essential new content of this bulletin is the overwhelming volume of pro-ISIS online activity they are monitoring.
Perhaps some of the traffic is a smokescreen deliberately created by the terror state and its sympathizers, who have doubtless become well aware of law enforcement’s reliance on using social media to detect persons of interest – virtually every terror-bust story, from every part of the Western world, mentions that police were alerted to a dangerous individual by radical Facebook and Twitter postings, or discovered such activity while building a case against a suspect.
Fox News says the bulletin mentions no specific, “credible” threat… but emphasizes that the concept of “credible” threats has become “less and less relevant,” in the words of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, because individual “lone wolf” jihadis have lately been acting with very little advance warning.
At any rate, the FBI, DHS, and National Counterterrorism Center say they are “aware of recent information suggesting U.S. military bases, locations, and events could be targeted in the near-term.”
BY CASSY FIANO
People demanding that fast food restaurants pay their workers $15 dollars an hour have a complete and total lack of understanding of how the economy works. And it looks like the people complaining about the minimum wage are about to get a rude awakening.
At McDonald’s, they’ve combined a computerized kiosk with a brand new menu, and it appears to be a big hit around the country.
So, what’s the reason for these changes?
Some people suspect it’s no coincidence these advances at Mickey D’s have corresponded with the protests by SEIU and other unions, along with fast food workers, demanding $15/hour pay.
As a result, cities including Los Angeles and Seattle have voted to dramatically raise their minimum wage.
… Let’s face it, technology can do the job faster, better and more efficient than someone whining about getting paid $15/hour.
Of course, this will probably be framed as the evil McDonalds screwing people out of money, but they have their own bottom line to worry about — after all, businesses exist to make money, not to give it away. If these people continue to demand ridiculous paychecks for jobs that anyone with literally no education or training could do, then this will be the result, and they’ll end up with no paycheck at all. Which situation is better?