South Korea to augment cyberwar defenses after attack on banks, broadcasters

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South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said Monday it will boost its own cyberwar forces and work and train more closely with U.S. forces on cyber issues, following the massive cyberattacks on major broadcasters and banks in Seoul on March 20.

South Korea’s independent Yonhap news service reported, citing anonymous South Korean government officials, that new President Park Geun-Hye was briefed about the plan.

“We will cooperate with the U.S. to prepare measures in cyber policy, technology and information,” a senior defense ministry official told Yonhap.

The agency said South Korea has about 400 personnel under its Cyber Command, a special military unit launched in early 2010.

North Korea, which many in Seoul believe was behind the huge cyberattack on March 20, is believed by South Korean intelligence to be running a cyberwarfare unit of its own, composed of as many as 3,000 trained hackers.

The South Korean government increasingly is concerned about the threat posed from the North, following recent saber rattling there.

South Korean and U.S. forces will draft a customized deterrence strategy as early as July to test and review during the next joint drills, which kick off in late August, Yonhap reported. Militaries of the two nations will sign the plan in October, when their defense chiefs have an annual meeting called a Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) in Seoul, officials said.

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About the Author
Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...

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