Better cooperation on cyberattacks

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Better cooperation on cyberattacks

The White House announced that the suspected North Korean cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment was a “serious national security matter” and that it was considering a “proportional” retaliatory response. The United States was declaring that hacking a government or private enterprise on American soil is tantamount to a terrorist threat and an attack on its citizens. The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Friday said it had concluded that North Korea was behind the hack on the Hollywood movie studio, the theft of massive troves of emails and sensitive documents and the deletion of data from hard drives.

Sony cancelled the Dec. 25 release of the movie “The Interview,” a comedy about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, citing threats of violence at theaters that were set to show the film. U.S. media speculated that the government’s response could come in the form of diplomatic and financial action or military reinforcement on the Korean Peninsula.

A fictional movie about an assassination attempt has developed into a cyber and terrorism threat on the movie’s maker and heightened security issues on the Korean Peninsula.

American media said the United States and China are in agreement that North Korea’s destructive activities in the cyber realm have gotten out of control. Washington included Beijing among several governments that it asked to assist in the investigation and actions against North Korea. The incident is expected to provide momentum for international coordination to fight cyberattacks. Hacking and computer attacks are a new type of security and terrorism threat that requires international cooperation.

Cyber capabilities are deemed as low-cost and highly effective forms of asymmetric warfare that could be as dangerous as nuclear threats and suicide bombs that weaker combatants can use for dramatic effect. The Internet is a borderless infrastructure that people in every corner of the world have access to and rely on everyday. Any malicious or threatening activities in cyberspace must be contained. The issue is a matter the United Nations can look into and get involved in. The UN should be able to take actions such as restricting access to the Web in countries and among groups that pose cyber threats.

Cyberattacks have become a growing danger to public and private infrastructure. Computer systems at the state nuclear reactor have been hacked, and blueprints of reactor designs were stolen. The government must join international efforts and also train experts in the field and tighten its national security system against cyberattacks.

JoongAng Ilbo, Dec. 22, Page 38

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