Skip to main content

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

By Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 11:08 AM EDT, Fri March 15, 2013
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
updated 6:25 PM EDT, Wed July 2, 2014
As diplomats discuss a string of unsolved kidnappings of Japanese citizens by North Korea, the families of those abducted anxiously wait and hope.
updated 7:57 PM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
updated 11:13 PM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
North Korea says it plans to prosecute two American tourists that it detained earlier this year, accusing them of "perpetrating hostile acts."
updated 7:38 PM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
North Korea proposed that "all hostile military activities" with South Korea be halted, but it attached conditions that Seoul is likely to reject.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
North Korean state news is reporting the country test-launched "cutting-edge ultra precision tactical guided missiles."
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
James Franco won't be following Dennis Rodman into North Korea anytime soon.
updated 7:04 AM EDT, Fri June 13, 2014
Don't you hate it when the weatherman gets it wrong? Apparently, so does Kim Jong Un.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
New signs show Russia and North Korea are developing a closer relationship.
updated 8:12 PM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Photographer Eric Lafforgue visited North Korea and shares his inside look at the most isolated country in the world.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon May 12, 2014
Many North Koreans listen to illegal broadcasts on homemade radios, some are convinced to defect.
updated 3:26 PM EDT, Thu May 8, 2014
Jang Jin-Sung, a North Korean defector and former regime insider, speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
updated 10:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
iReporter Kenny Zhu visited North Korea in April and was able to take video footage and photos with his Google Glass during the trip.
updated 2:42 PM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
North Korea loves saber-rattling. Here's a look at all the firepower they have stockpiled.
updated 8:03 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
CNN's Elise Labott reports on the new baby pictures of Kim Jong Un released by North Korean state media.
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
Experts warn that under Kim Jong Un's rule, Pyongyang has shown an even greater willingness to raise the stakes than before.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
China and North Korea criticize a U.N. report that found crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
updated 8:05 AM EDT, Mon March 17, 2014
Megumi Yokota was only 13 when she was abducted by a North Korean agent in the 1970s. What happened after that?
updated 12:30 AM EDT, Wed March 12, 2014
Report: North Korea uses multiple techniques to defy sanctions, and shows no signs of abandoning its nuclear missile programs.
ADVERTISEMENT