US security firm: North Korea’s elite hacking group reaches ‘advanced’ level 1

Press TV. Listen here.

An AFP photo taken on May 15, 2017 shows staff monitoring the spread of ransomware cyber-attacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) in Seoul. (Photos by AFP)
An AFP photo taken on May 15, 2017 shows staff monitoring the spread of ransomware cyber-attacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) in Seoul. (Photos by AFP)

A top US security firm is cautioning American politicians about a North Korean elite hacking group’s capability to engage in a cyber-war with the United States.

The elite hacking group called Reaper, which is also known as ACT37, has reached the level of “advanced persistent threat,” according to a Tuesday report by American cybersecurity company FireEye.

“APT37 has expanded its operations in both scope and sophistication,” the company warned.

It further claimed that the group has been active “since at least 2012 and focuses on targeting the public and private sectors primarily in South Korea.”

This photo taken on February 8, 2018 and released on February 9, 2018 by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) attending a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army at Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang.

ACT37 ‘maturing’

FireEye’s director of intelligence analysis, John Hultquist, told Wired, that the group is “the next team to watch.”

 

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Keith Preston: US war against North Korea would have ‘catastrophic consequences’ Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

A military option by the US against North Korea to resolve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula would have “catastrophic consequences,” says a political analyst in Virginia.

“An attempted invasion by the United States of the Korean Peninsula or the region of North Korea will certainly generate huge numbers of casualties on both sides,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“It could potentially lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction as well,” Preston told Press TV in a phone interview on Thursday.

“It’s also possible that a war of that type could escalate; that the Chinese and the Russians for example, could come to the defense of North Korea,” he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the US against its “aggressive rhetoric” towards North Korea.

During a Tuesday phone call with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Lavrov stressed that Washington’s actions have heightened tension on the Korean peninsula.

Russian Ambassador-at-Large Oleg Burmistrov said on Thursday that there is a growing danger of sliding toward an unprovoked conflict on the Korean Peninsula amid an unprecedented level of tension in the region.

On Monday, the US sanctioned two senior North Korean officials over the country’s ballistic missile program.

Tensions have been boiling on the Korean peninsula since early summer when Pyongyang test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and then carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

Defying rounds of United Nations economic sanctions, the North tested a new ICBM, the Hwasong-15, nearly a month ago.

Experts say North Korea has virtually mastered the capability to use the ICBMs with nuclear warheads in potential attacks that could target the entire United States, South Korea’s closest ally in countering the North.

Many also fear that increased pressure on North Korea and bellicose threats of war against the isolated nation from Washington could finally spark a nuclear confrontation in the region. Pyongyang harshly reacted to a recent round of sanctions adopted Friday over the test-firing of Hwasong-15, and called them an act of war.

China and Russia Train for War with U.S. if Trump Invades North Korea 1

The withering away of the antiwar movement during the Obama era, and the failure of the Left to oppose the Trump administration’s efforts to strengthen the position of the Atlanticist-Zionist-Wahhabi axis (or to even take notice) indicates that US imperialism will have to be defeated externally rather than internally. This will be achieved by a combination of ongoing military defeats by fourth generation warfare forces, and the rise of counter power on a geopolitical level. On the former point, the US is now 0-5 in the 4GW conflicts that have been fought over the last quarter century (Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria). Meanwhile, the “triangular resistance” of the BRICS, Shia-led Resistance Block, and the Global South is rising to create a multipolar rather than unipolar world. The US has largely retreated from Latin America, and will gradually do the same in Asia and Africa in the future.

By Tom O’Connor

Newsweek

China and Russia may be devising a plan to attack U.S. forces in the event of an imminent war breaking out on the neighboring Korean Peninsula, according to two former military officials.

Lieutenant General Wang Hongguang, the former deputy commander of the western Nanjing Military Region, warned “the war on the Korean Peninsula might break out anytime between now and March next year”; his comments came during a conference hosted Saturday by ruling Communist Party newspaper The Global Times. The following day, the nationalist outlet expanded on the retired general’s remarks with insight from Chinese military expert, commentator and author Song Zhongping, who said China could potentially engage U.S. forces if they posed a threat.

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Keith Preston: US-N Korea war ‘devastating,’ not likely to happen Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

US President Donald Trump’s threats of military action against North Korea are “overblown” statement that would never come true, an American analyst says, arguing American military officials are well-aware how “devastating” such warfare would be.

Keith Preston, director of attackthesystem.org, made the remarks while discussing Trump’s debut speech at the United Nations General Assembly, where he said Tuesday that the US was ready to destroy the North to resolve the ongoing standoff over the country’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program.

“Trump is known for his blustering and overblown rhetoric,” Preston told Press TV on Wednesday. “Anything that Trump says along the lines of threatening to destroy North Korea has to be taken with a grain of salt.”

“This is a long-standing conflict between the United States and North Korea and the norm is that the countries like to talk tough against one another… but nothing ever comes of this,” the analyst argued.

Last month, when the standoff between North Korea and the US over Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs reached its peak, Trump threatened North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with “fire and fury the world has never seen.”

The threats, however, have not gone down well with traditional US allies like the UK, France and Germany who have all called for diplomatic solutions.

‘American people have other priorities’

Preston said American military action against North Korea under the Trump administration was “unlikely” because US military officials would oppose it and the Republican “tends to be very deferent to military opinion.”

“There is a wide range of areas in which Trump has shifted his own positions out of deference to the judgment of the military hierarchy and I don’t think that the American military establishment is fund of the idea” of a war with North Korea because it would be “devastating.”

Citing the “disastrous” US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Preston said a direct military confrontation with Pyongyang would be “even more disastrous.”

Another reason that made the war unlikely, according to Preston, was the fact that the American public was preoccupied with more important problems like the economy, immigration and healthcare and didn’t pay much attention to tensions with North Korea.

 

Two (or More) Sides to Every Story 1

A Facebook friend has this to say about North Korea:

HOW IS IT THAT WE DO NOT FIND IT OBSCENE AND REVOLTING that the USA media openly talk about a murderous military invasion of North Korea, for the sole asserted reason that North Korea wants to develop a credible (and obviously needed) nuclear deterrent?

In many decades the most militarily aggressive nations that have nuclear weapons have clearly been the USA and Israel. What country that is in the sights of these two violent nations would not want nuclear weapons as freaking soon as possible? I sure would. This is especially true in light of North Korea’s history (below). Yet we don’t find it obscene that the USA and its media openly talk about murdering the entire nation with a military invasion because it dares to want to have the only military deterrent that could work against USA madness. Insane.

Michael Mac Aodha: “It is some Orwellian “Two Minutes Hate” for us to be freaking out about North Korea. Super brief history: Korea was colonized in 1910 by Japan, liberated by Moscow in August 1945, and went to war with US and the US-backed forces in South Korea in 1951. By 1953 the US Air Force ran out of military targets and started bombing dams to flood rice fields and cause starvation. North Korea has never forgotten, and formally the war has never ended. Until very recently both countries have claimed ALL of Korea. Both countries didn’t join UN until1991. In 1994 NK signed on to the Agreed Framework with US, but Washington dragged its feet while NK upheld their end of the bargain. They gave our government a chance to make peace and we blew it. They know, just like we claim for ourselves, that they have to have nukes to deter and to compel others to have dialog. US opposes banning nukes every year because we don’t want to get rid of our leverage, yet we can’t see that with North Korea, a much weaker and vulnerable country really facing existential threats. We depict them as irrational, hostile boogeymen bent on world domination—an image that more reflects our own government. We are being jingoistic about North Korea. We misunderstand them and are thirsty for blood. US and South Korea just held major military exercises running through plans of overthrowing the North, and Japan’s prime minister is trying to get their constitution rewritten so they can go to war again North Korea. But even USA Today, a conservative newspaper, admits that all they want is (1) guarantees from the US that we want try and overthrow them; (2) to keep their nukes for assurances; (3) lifting of sanctions; (4) removal of US troops from South Korea; and (5) a peace treaty with South Korea. That last one is a significant concession. The North is foregoing their claim to ALL of Korea and is willing to formally recognize them as a sovereign country that they want to have normalized peace relations with. All very reasonable stuff, but look how we’re acting.”

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Korea and the Art of the Deal Reply

Bill Lind on why North Korea is just an extension of traditional Korea.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

As North Korea inches its way toward possessing an ICBM than can hit the United States with a nuclear warhead–both of dubious reliability–we can expect a Korean “crisis” to grow. In fact, there need be no crisis. A deal with North Korea is not difficult to envision, and America now has a president who is good at making deals.

The conventional wisdom presents North Korea as a rogue state ruled by a madman, Kim Jong Un. He, and it, are irrational, dangerous, and impossible to predict. Sanctions having failed, we must pile up more sanctions. There is no alternative to growing hostility between North Korea and the U.S., a course which is likely at some point to lead to war. In the meantime, we must keep thousands of U.S. troops in South Korea, a country far stronger than North Korea.

But there is another way to look at the situation, one that sees continuity rather than irrationality in North Korean policy. For centuries, Korea, then one country, was known as the “Hermit Kingdom”. Like Japan under the last Shogunate, Korea was closed to foreigners, trade, and all outside contact. Its government, a monarchy, was centralized, powerful, and all-controlling. An “ideology” of sorts, Confucianism, was the only tolerated way of thinking. The king was regarded as semi-divine.

From this perspective, today’s North Korea is merely an extension of historic Korea. The Kims are a new dynasty, behaving very much like the old dynasty. North Korea’s legitimacy is rooted in this continuity; it is South Korea, not North Korea, that is a historic anomaly.

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