In a strange twist of fate, the American government has asked China for assistance in stopping North Korean Hackers. All of North Korean internet traffic is routed through Chinese servers, but it is unknown whether the country will decide to cooperate in this situation.
Internet tensions between America has been at an all time high with each country accusing the other of cyber-attacks against the other. Several hackers have been indicted in the US over plots to steal military information from American companies for the Chinese military, and this may influence China’s decision on providing assistance.
US President Barack Obama has promised a proportional response to the recent cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, and this appears to be the first step in the plan. What else is in store for North Korea is unknown as the country lacks a proper internet network for a large scale cyber-attack. Analysts are expecting more economic sanctions, although these would be of limited effect as North Korea is already the most sanctioned country in the world.
The New York Times expects that the North Korean nuclear weapons programme would be a likely target for any future cyber-attack. However, the facility building the weapons is technologically isolated; which would make it very difficult to hack. There is also the problem with the time it takes to successfully mount a cyber-attack, which could take many months to engineer.
America’s response to the Sony Pictures attack will be interesting to note in that it will set the tone for how other countries may outline their reaction to future state sponsored cyber-attacks. It could also set the stage for a new era of an online Cold War.
[Source: New York Times]