Bracing for a full-fledged cyberwar

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Bracing for a full-fledged cyberwar

Broadcasters and banks recently faced a cyberattack. It is extremely worrisome because a long-time paralysis of the infrastructures will cause chaos.

Cyberattacks in Korea were aimed at paralyzing the institutions, while the American society was recently shocked by the network intrusion. Until now, many companies have hided that their networks were breached as they worried about stock price fall and damage to the corporate image, but the New York Times last month made public that its network was breached. Later, it was revealed that the Washington Post and Reuters as well as other companies were being attacked and a hackers group was discovered during the process.

They hacked over 141 entities ranging from state-run to private companies like Lockheed Martin and Coca-Cola. A network security firm recently identified China’s People’s Liberation Army as the culprit. Whether the hackers are from China or not, the dispute created an opportunity to make the public aware of the importance of cybersecurity.

The Pentagon decided that it will increase the number of forces to fight a cyberwar. The key is to improve the deterrent power. It is an open secret that the U.S. military was involved in cyberattacks on a nuclear facility in Iran in the same year. Meanwhile, many raise the need to improve security on social infrastructures in the U.S. because power supply network, air traffic control and water supply system are major targets of attack in time of war.

Taiwan announced it has launched a unit to counter China’s cyberattacks. Israel’s Defense Ministry is already training its elite high school graduates. As we can see, many countries are beefing up their cyberwar capabilities.

The two-year mandatory military service is not enough for Korea to operate a strong cyberwarfare unit. To counter the looming risk, the Korean military needs to recruit manpower, and they must be treated with respect and proper salaries so that they won’t leave the military to serve in the private sector. Furthermore, the reserved troops also need to be more aware of the cybersecurity.

Park Byung-ho

Information and media professor at Kaist
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