Heavy security is seen outside The Theatre at Ace Hotel before the premiere of the motion picture comedy "The Interview" in Los Angeles on Dec. 11, 2014. A year after North Korea launched a cyberattack against Sony Pictures, a South Korean analyst stated Pyongyang is preparing a large-scale cyber war to paralyze millions of South Korean computers. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- North Korea has a strategy to take control of 10 million South Korean personal computers in a cyber warfare scenario, a South Korean expert said Tuesday.
Han Hui, a professor at Seoul Media Institute of Technology, included the observation in a paper highlighting North Korean cybersecurity threats, South Korean outlet Newsis reported. Han wrote that if the North were to wage a cyber war, Pyongyang would "maximize the use of South Korea's network" in order to attempt hackings, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported.
According to Han, "North Korea is engaging in a strategy to paralyze at least 50 percent of South Korea's information technology infrastructure...North Korea's goal is to destroy the South Korean leadership by physical, psychological attacks, tying it to cyberattacks, then bringing about wide-scale panic."
Han said North Korea's strategy is to use the most vulnerable points in South Korea's IT network to gather information, then "win over host technology personnel." North Korea also uses tactics in South Korean cyberspace to intervene in public opinion discussions, Han said.
The South Korean analyst said Seoul's military lacks the ability to analyze North Korea's cyber strategy and intent, and that there is a tendency to analyze cyberattacks as a technical problem, rather than seeing them from a military perspective. Addressing North Korea cyberattacks also is not a matter of expanding organizations, or creating new institutions, but workers need to be trained in a new set of skills, Han said.
South Korea has been the target of North Korea cyberattacks. In April, South Korean investigators said they found proof North Korea was behind a series of cyberattacks on South Korean banks and nuclear operators.
The source of the attacks, malicious codes, was responsible for a 2013 attack on 48,000 computers at banks and media outlets and the hacking of a South Korean nuclear operator last December.
No North Korea cyberattacks have occurred in the United States since Sony Pictures was hacked in late 2014.