Cyber-Conflict Escalates in Midst of North Korean Tensions



North Korea appears to increase its cyber activity in step with its controversial nuclear program, while the U.S. boosts its own programs and Chinese espionage attacks continue.

Nation-state attacks through the Internet continue to escalate, with a massive surge in cyber-reconnaissance activity appearing to come from North Korea at the same time as the country ratcheted up its nuclear rhetoric, according to security experts.

In February, attackers operating from North Korean Internet addresses probed U.S. servers more than 1,000 times, up from the previous average of fewer than 200 probes per month, according to managed security firm Solutionary. In addition, a massive reconnaissance operation—-consisting of another 11,000 probes from servers in North Korea—was directed at a single financial institution, wrote Jon Heimerl, Solutionary's director of strategic security, in the brief analysis.

The attacks seem to coincide with North Korea's apparent nuclear test on Feb. 12, he said.

"There do appear ..

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