Skip to main content

North Korea says it's the victim of 'intensive' cyberattacks

By Greg Botelho, CNN
March 15, 2013 -- Updated 1508 GMT (2308 HKT)
This undated picture released by North Korea on March 12 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting an army unit.
This undated picture released by North Korea on March 12 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting an army unit.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • North Korea is facing daily "intensive and persistent virus attacks," state news reports
  • It blames "the U.S. and the South Korean puppet regime" for such cyberattacks
  • North Korea has bristled under international pressure since its third nuclear test

(CNN) -- North Korea's state news agency reported Friday that the country's Internet servers are subject to daily "intensive and persistent virus attacks" that the government blames on "hostile forces" including the United States.

"It is nobody's secret that the U.S. and the South Korean puppet regime are massively bolstering up cyberforces in a bid to intensify the subversive activities and sabotages against the DPRK," according to the official KCNA report.

"... They are seriously mistaken if they think they can quell the DPRK's voices of justice through such base acts. The U.S. and its allies should be held wholly accountable for the ensuing consequences."

North Korea has been under intense international pressure since its third nuclear test earlier this year, which spurred the U.N. Security Council to approve tough new sanctions.

Kim Jong Un: Break enemies' waists
North Korea raising decibel on threats
Rodman: Kim Jong Un's 'my friend'
North Korea invalidates armistice

Pyongyang threatened a possible "pre-emptive nuclear attack" earlier this month, and the official news agency reeled off agreements with South Korea that it said would no longer apply. Among them are its non-agression pacts with the South, which helped bring the Korean War to a close in 1953.

Official: Cyberattacks, North Korea, jihadists groups top U.S. threats

Experts on the region and U.S. officials said the recent frenzy of ominous language from North Korea under its leader Kim Jong Un makes the situation on the Korean Peninsula more worrying and unpredictable.

On Tuesday, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified to Congress that North Korea's development of a nuclear weapons program poses a "serious threat."

While calling the developments "disturbing," KCNA's report Friday did not specify what damage -- if any -- the alleged cyberattacks had done in North Korea. It promised that Pyongyang "will never remain a passive onlooker," though it didn't indicate what the country might do about any cyberattack.

U.S. Army Gen. James Thurman, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said last spring that North Korea had its own "growing cyberwarfare capability." In a statement before a congressional hearing, he said such attacks "have been increasingly employed against a variety of targets, including military, governmental, educations, and commercial institutions."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 2, 2014 -- Updated 2225 GMT (0625 HKT)
As diplomats discuss a string of unsolved kidnappings of Japanese citizens by North Korea, the families of those abducted anxiously wait and hope.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 2357 GMT (0757 HKT)
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 0313 GMT (1113 HKT)
North Korea says it plans to prosecute two American tourists that it detained earlier this year, accusing them of "perpetrating hostile acts."
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 2338 GMT (0738 HKT)
North Korea proposed that "all hostile military activities" with South Korea be halted, but it attached conditions that Seoul is likely to reject.
June 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
North Korean state news is reporting the country test-launched "cutting-edge ultra precision tactical guided missiles."
June 25, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
James Franco won't be following Dennis Rodman into North Korea anytime soon.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 1104 GMT (1904 HKT)
Don't you hate it when the weatherman gets it wrong? Apparently, so does Kim Jong Un.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 2344 GMT (0744 HKT)
New signs show Russia and North Korea are developing a closer relationship.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
Photographer Eric Lafforgue visited North Korea and shares his inside look at the most isolated country in the world.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 0125 GMT (0925 HKT)
Many North Koreans listen to illegal broadcasts on homemade radios, some are convinced to defect.
May 8, 2014 -- Updated 1926 GMT (0326 HKT)
Jang Jin-Sung, a North Korean defector and former regime insider, speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1406 GMT (2206 HKT)
iReporter Kenny Zhu visited North Korea in April and was able to take video footage and photos with his Google Glass during the trip.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1842 GMT (0242 HKT)
North Korea loves saber-rattling. Here's a look at all the firepower they have stockpiled.
April 24, 2014 -- Updated 0003 GMT (0803 HKT)
CNN's Elise Labott reports on the new baby pictures of Kim Jong Un released by North Korean state media.
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
Experts warn that under Kim Jong Un's rule, Pyongyang has shown an even greater willingness to raise the stakes than before.
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
China and North Korea criticize a U.N. report that found crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
March 17, 2014 -- Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT)
Megumi Yokota was only 13 when she was abducted by a North Korean agent in the 1970s. What happened after that?
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 0430 GMT (1230 HKT)
Report: North Korea uses multiple techniques to defy sanctions, and shows no signs of abandoning its nuclear missile programs.
ADVERTISEMENT