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Dispelling the NK BS: Bureau 121 - NK Does Have An Elite Hacking Capacity

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posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 12:33 AM
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Dispelling the NK BS: Bureau 121 - NK Does Have An Elite Hacking Capacity



Hi once again ATS.

As this very important and paradigm shifting story - the tale of a movie studio, a Dictatorship, and a stoner flick - unfolds before us, one of the major talking points, from the very beginning has been the insistance that North Korea is technologically backwards, behind the curve, and utterly incapable of using Cyberwarfare as a weapon. I wish to address this misconception.

As a preface I do want to state that I am not at all convinced that the attacks upon the US came from North Korea, neither am I yet convinced that North Korea was not a pawn nor player in the event. What I do wish to do is to set the record straight regarding the computing skills of NK.

Bureau 121



It is easy to understand why public perception would paint North Korea as a technilogically inferior country. After all, starvation and poverty are rampant and the stories told by defectors include having to resort to cannibalism to survive and of a lifestyle that represents a daily fight simply to stay alive.

But these are stories of those not fortunate enough to live in Pyongyang. While rural life in NK is abysmal, life in Pyongyang is equal to life in any of the worlds wealthiest nations or cities. Some reports suggest that 25 to 40% of North Koreas GDP goes into military spending - propping up a small sector of their society into the realms of extreme wealth.

Source

Among those who are most rewarded in the military are those employed in two military programs: No. 91 Office and Bureau 121.

Here is some testimony from a defector named Jang Se-yul who was once part of the program


Before defecting to South Korea in 2007, Jang went to Mirim University, the country’s top engineering college, which is now called the University of Automation. Although he wasn’t a hacker — his major was War Game Strategy, focused on cyber warfare simulations — Jang took classes with the hackers that are now in Bureau 121. After graduation, Jang worked at North Korea’s General Bureau of Reconnaissance, the intelligence agency that Bureau 121 is a part of. He says he still keeps in touch with some of those hackers.

How they’re trained: Mirim University produces most of the hackers that get placed in Bureau 121. It’s a highly competitive program, with each class accepting only about 100 students out of 5,000 applicants. They take six 90-minute classes every day, learning different coding languages and operating systems, from C to Linux. Jang says a lot of time was spent dissecting Microsoft programs, like the Windows operating system, and how to attack the overall computer IT systems of enemy countries like the US or South Korea.

But the core principle is to develop its own hacking programs and computer viruses without having to rely on programs already built in the outside world. Jang says he believes North Korean hackers are as good as the top programmers at Google or CIA, if not already better. “Especially in terms of coding, I’m confident they’re better because they’ve invested in it for so long,” he says.

Their living conditions are much better than most North Koreans': they receive high salaries, a free apartment over 2,000 sq ft in downtown Pyongyang, and their family can move to Pyongyang as well, which is a big privilege. They’re among the top 1% who are happy with their lives in North Korea. In fact, with free access to the internet, these hackers are all aware of what’s going on in the outside world and how reclusive their country is — but they still won’t leave their country. “No matter how hard you try to convince them, they won’t leave — even if you offered them a job at the Blue House (the official residence of the South Korean president),” Jang says.

KCNA The ultimate goal: North Korea realizes they have no chance fighting their enemies in conventional warfare. But in cyber space, they can create chaos with relatively few resources. It’s why the North Korean government has spent so much effort in this area since the 1980s. They call it the “Secret War.” Jang says the ultimate goal is to attack the central IT infrastructure of enemy countries, primarily the government, and steal as much information as possible while also causing social pandemonium.


Source

I've used a bit more of the article than I should have but, IMO this is very important information to get into the dialogue. Also, anyone inclined can simply use their search engine of preference to find out a bit more - though the information is somewhat limited.

Another article, already linked above, sums it up: “For them, the strongest weapon is cyber. In North Korea, it’s called the Secret War,” Jang said.

So, while we were all watching missle after missle fail, and listening to endless threats about nuking this or nuking that - NK wasn't as inept as many thought. They were actually very wisely picking and choosing their field of battle and made sure that they are ahead of the curve in that field.

Conclusions



As I spend the better part of my waking life, lately, dissecting these events and tying together all of the lose strings, I felt it wise to post this thread as part of it all. Too many times have I read posts declaring that NK is running ancient computers and that their ID of high tech is forty year old fax machines. NK is the child of China, the worlds leader in electronics - so it is no surprise at all that Kim Jung Un would have inherited the benefits of that relationship when he came to power - plans put into place by his father that are finally coming into the light of day.

We let our top 1% get fat on the wealth of the labor of others and laugh. NK teaches their top 1% to hack.

I hope this clears up some misconceptions.

*****

Editing this OP to include an OUTSTANDING link provided by ATS member jlafleur02
re/code article



edit on 12/25/14 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 12:54 AM
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Thank you!

I've been saying this for ages, but people prefer to bask in ignorance and refuse to even ask questions regarding North Korea's military capacity (both cyber and otherwise). Many choose to just sit there and believe that North Korea continues to use ancient equipment, but i think it is obvious that a state which spends much of its GDP on its military would not continue to do so. In fact, i would wager that North Korea is proficient in modern military and cyber weaponry. It may come as a surprise to some, but North Korea is very much not 'stuck' in the cold war.

This video below should be mandatory viewing for all...it is explained that rogues states are able to acquire modern military weaponry...indeed, North Korea is even explicitly mentioned.




posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 05:22 AM
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Nice thread. But I bet it'll get very little attention.

People don't want reality and common sense. They want to hear about how NK would be incapable of pulling something like this off and how it must have been Sony, who obviously simulated terrorist threats and a major cyber attack to make a few extra million of some movie.



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:04 AM
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Of course NK is bad ass, the entire US military was fought to a standstill by them.

Its alway the little guys that have the most to prove and the big bullies that fall the hardest.



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:07 AM
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Interesting thread Heff.

I have no doubt NK would have a robust cyber warfare dept. I'm still on the fence on whether or not they actually were the culprits of the Sony breach.

There are just too many parties who stand to benefit from it and not enough information available to unquestioningly declare NK the sole pperpetrators.

As to their military capabilities? I'm not as convinced as Daaskapital. Though I respect his opinion. A cyber warfare capability is fairly cheap and easy to set up, where as actual military superiority takes not only a substantial budget but extensive training and experience. Something that NK does not convincingly possess.

Though it is completely possible that I'm just biased because I'm in the US military. I guess we'll find out eventually.



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:10 AM
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a reply to: watchitburn

Actually ( spoiler alert ) I've been doing a LOT of research and I am of a mind that the entire Cyberwar that played out rather silently ( No MSM mentions of a global cyberwar, and yet one happened for several days and is still sporadically going on ) is domestic in nature and far, far more complex than anyone can imagine.

North Korea is definitely involved, whether they wish to be or are being scapegoated I do not know.

This thread was created as a source for the constant posts suggesting that North Korea doesn't have a working toaster, much less a working computer when, in fact, they may actually outclass the US in Cyberwarfare.



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:11 AM
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I've said it a few times here already.

With our modern world of cheap high tech hardware and the wide availability of various software programs, couple that with North Korea being right next door to China [Mass producer] of mentioned hardware and [Pirating] of many software titles, it shouldn't surprise anyone that they'd have easy access for needed requirements for this endeavor.


North Korea has very deep financial pockets to fund the very best for these activities. It's only their average people that go with out...



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:26 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr
Of course NK is bad ass, the entire US military was fought to a standstill by them.


North Korea did no such thing.

North Korea was defeated and it wasn't until China intervened en mass that things stabilized at it's present DMZ. Red China [With Soviet Help] and the United Nations forces fought to a standstill.
edit on 25-12-2014 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:28 AM
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North Korea has a pretty scary military capacity, they can actualy defend themselves hence the reason they havent been invaded yet.

Still no evidence they hacked Sony though.



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:53 AM
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Interesting thread Hefficide.

My theory is that the NK regime was actually secretly installed by the unites states in order to divide the region and prevent it and therefore the Asia pacific becoming too prosperous, too soon. In terms of energy and ley lines, North Korea, I think the whole of 'korea is actually very unique and very interesting, and it saddens me that that part of the world is so not open. This when i first found out about it (coming from the perspective of not trusting the powers that be anywhere and seeing them all as one corrupt mafia), made me think that the region was being preserved a post depopulation celestial playground for the mafia elite, who are conspiring to depopulate the the whole world to a size of 500, 000 (?) as the Georgia Guidestones suggest.

The hackers you mentioned in the OP, if my theory is correct, are not better than the CIA, they were probably trained by the perhaps they actually are the CIA....



Anyway...


AS you know, people are so ignorant about that side of that they didn't think North Koreans could operate the most basic of toaster ovens let alone have a hacker elite, so any information that would confirm my theory looks unlikely to ever surface.
edit on 25 12 14 by funkadeliaaaa because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 07:21 AM
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All that from 1 source? Who's to say he isn't a double agent that is just saying those things to make NK look capable? They do it with everything else.
Cutting edge programing ,like Microsoft isn't learned in school. They are seasoned professionals. The hackers in NK have no exposure to network infrastructure that you find in the USA or Europe. Never heard that NK has an advanced computer network. Probably cause they don't have the expertise. If they did then it would have been built already. You would need that real world experience to perform major hacks like the Sony hack.



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 07:24 AM
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originally posted by: Dabrazzo
North Korea has a pretty scary military capacity, they can actualy defend themselves hence the reason they havent been invaded yet.

Still no evidence they hacked Sony though.

In a war with america, and civilian casualties were not a factor, NK would last 2 days. It sucks that we have that many deadly weapons that can wipe out entire cities without a nuclear device.



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 07:26 AM
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a reply to: jlafleur02

Not for nothing, but the capacity to use Cyberwarfare as a means of crippling a nations infrastructure is basically the equivalent of a nuke - just minus the explosion and initial loss of life.



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 07:35 AM
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Here's another interesting article about NK capabilities. We might be underestimating them but I remain skeptical.
re/code article
Article says unit 121 is actually located in china about 3 hours from the NK border
edit on 25-12-2014 by jlafleur02 because: added



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 08:23 AM
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The re/code article mentioned that they like to use important dates such as holidays.
Thought I'd take a quick look at Norse and I caught a pretty large Telnet storm coming in from China.



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 08:32 AM
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Oh yeah great hackers if they can get a line out of their little country. If someone has stuffed up all the lines well!!!

Merry Christmas anyway




posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 08:38 AM
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a reply to: mikell

Actually if you read the links you'll find that NK having a very limited internal Internet works greatly in their favor regarding Cyberwarfare. Not only do they have far, far fewer integral places to target - those they do have are extremely secure. By way of comparison only a handful of .gov sites and the largest websites in the rest of the world have the ability to shelter extreme packetstorms.



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 08:47 AM
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originally posted by: Hefficide
a reply to: watchitburn

Actually ( spoiler alert ) I've been doing a LOT of research and I am of a mind that the entire Cyberwar that played out rather silently ( No MSM mentions of a global cyberwar, and yet one happened for several days and is still sporadically going on ) is domestic in nature and far, far more complex than anyone can imagine.

North Korea is definitely involved, whether they wish to be or are being scapegoated I do not know.

This thread was created as a source for the constant posts suggesting that North Korea doesn't have a working toaster, much less a working computer when, in fact, they may actually outclass the US in Cyberwarfare.

I had to log in just to LOL at the prospects of this post being true when viewed in the same light as the capabilities of the NSA, their data center and collection capabilities. Yeah NK is way ahead of the US in terms of cyber capabilities LOL



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 08:50 AM
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a reply to: Bilk22

Have you read the links? For that matter can you provide specs on the NSA's capabilities?

Regardless, thanks for the bump!



posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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originally posted by: sageturkey
The re/code article mentioned that they like to use important dates such as holidays.
Thought I'd take a quick look at Norse and I caught a pretty large Telnet storm coming in from China.
Does Norse display the attacks the US perpetrates on other nations?



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