Earlier this summer I was explaining North Korea as a country of “Macgyver’s” in that, due to the extreme economic sanctions, military blockades and restrictions enforced upon them, many of the countries intellectual elite often times has to learn how to make something out of nothing. Unlike in the United States for example, North Korea’s Government and scientists can not afford to waste a single dime, and every operation undertaken under the general scope of their Government must be allocated as proficiently as humanly possible – they have no other choice. However, for these same reasons, extreme economic hardship often times has a way of producing some of the worlds most innovative work, because countries like North Korea often times have to find new ways of doing things or circumventing obstacles that other countries simply do not have to deal with.
To this effect, a new study by Recorded Future has analyzed the inner workings of the North Korean Government and the movements of their computer scientists over the course of the last year and a half. While North Korea remains literally THE hardest intelligence agency to penetrate, researches have managed to uncover some interesting facts about them nonetheless. Dating back to 2017, what researchers have uncovered is that North Korean data/computer scientists are turning to crypto-currencies en masse to do business with one another, or outside countries. This is done simply to circumvent the harsh economic sanctions imposed on them by outside countries, such as the United States. Additionally, according to the report featured below, Recorded Future has found that North Korea’s Government is implanting advanced hackers and computer scientists in different countries throughout the world – though primarily in Asia. Essentially, scientists and internet engineers are being disguised as manual laborers whom go to work in construction during the day, and then return home to run cyber orations at night. In order to maximize the damage their hackers or scientists can do, the North Korean Government knows that it has to export them to outside countries in order to get past internet restrictions as they exist inside North Korea.
As Recorded Future‘s executive summary reads, “The Kim regime has developed a model for using and exploiting the internet that is unique, and leadership are quick to embrace new services or technologies when useful and cast them aside when not.” Adding that “We discovered that North Korea’s ruling elite are technologically savvy, use a full range of older and cutting-edge computers, phones, and devices, use the internet as a tool for sanctions circumvention, and recently shifted to embrace Chinese social networking services over Western ones.” It is an interesting and unique study that you do not come across everyday, certainly worth taking a look at.
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