Inside Unit 121: Cyber Threat Posed by North Korea and China to South Korea and US Forces Korea

This paper, written by Army Maj. Steve Sin, a senior analyst at the Open Source Intelligence Branch of the Directorate of Intelligence at U.S. Forces Korea, said North Korea operates two cyber warfare units: the State Security Agency’s electronic communications monitoring and computer hacking outfit, and Unit 121, which is part of the Reconnaissance Bureau. The bureau’s staff works directly for the General Staff Department of the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces. [via NextGov]:

Recent cyber attacks on the US and the Republic of Korea’s government agencies, research institutes, private companies, and infrastructure have created significant cause for concern among the government officials and the computer security experts of both countries. Located in the heart of Northeast Asia, the proving ground for cyber-warfare (CW), computer networks of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) are ripe targets for the region’s CW organizations. The Yonhap News Agency reported on May 5th that the US military, after years of tracking which countries accessed them the most, has found that users inside North Korea logged onto US military websites and networks most frequently. This paper explores the CW capabilities and developments of North Korea and China in an effort to ascertain possible threats posed against the US entities and interests in the region.

See also: IWM’s The Korea’s archive back to 2003