[ISN] ‘N.K. nurtures science prodigies as hackers’

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20131204000803 By Park Han-na The Korea Herald 2013-12-04 North Korea is aggressively beefing up its cyber warfare capabilities by adding child prodigies to its 3,000-strong special hacker unit targeting South Korea and its allies, an expert said Tuesday, citing the testimonies of North Korean defectors. Pyongyang regularly screens math and science prodigies to train them to be cyber experts through state-led education programs at home and abroad, according to Steven Kim, a professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. Kim said the selected elementary school students go through grueling training sessions including internal competitions at well-equipped facilities. Successful candidates get extra training in China and Russia and come back to North Korea to join the cyber operations, he said during a speech at the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington, D.C. Kim said the North was escalating the level of its cyber provocations as its online attacks could undermine the social and financial infrastructure of the South, one of the world’s most-wired countries. […]