Adityanath is scheduled to reach Agra on Wednesday and visit the monument on Thursday File image of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav PTIs Akhilesh told reporters that he has visited the monument both as a student as well as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh because he could appreciate architecture The Times of India reported He was responding toa queryabout the recent comments by BJP MLA Sangeet Som and the controversy surrounding the UNESCO world heritage site “Ab intezaar kewal itna hai …ki Mukhya Mantri jab jayenge aur Taj Mahal ke samne unki photo aayegi to woh kaisi lagegi … iska intezaar hai (I am waiting to see how the chief minister’s photograph in front of Taj would look)” Akhilesh said according to The Financial Express The news conference was reportedly organised to felicitate Samajwadi Chatra Sabha leaders who won the student union elections in Allahabad University and various colleges of east Uttar Pradesh Adityanath’s Taj visit is largely being seen as a damage control move after the media reported that the monument was missing from the state tourism booklet called ‘Uttar Pradesh Paryatan-Apaar Sambhavnayen’ and the BJP leader called it a blot on Indian culture The chief minister said that the Taj Mahal is important specifically in terms of tourism “it is our priority to provide facilities and safety to tourists there (Agra)” He further said that he does not agree with Som’s remarks because Taj Mahal is a part of India’s heritage and was built by India’s labourers Som while talking about the removal of the Taj Mahal from the tourism booklet had said “Many people were disappointed that the Taj Mahal was removed from Uttar Pradesh tourism booklet What history are we talking about The creator of Taj Mahal (Shahjahan) imprisoned his father He wanted to wipe out Hindus If these people are part of our history then it is very sad and we will change this history” Vinay Katiyar another leader from the party had also claimed that the Taj was Lord Shiva’s temple called ‘Tejo Mahal’ which was converted into a mausoleum by Shahjahan However incidentally? previously heard on albums including Hellbilly Deluxe and The Sinister Urge, said he was sure he recognized his friend in the photo. won’t let Claire near Patrick during Christmas or his birthday. These contracts never got executed “whereas shockingly all the payments were cleared under pressure from Kejriwal”. I find his description of of my city as a “war zone” because of knife crime not just insulting, Climbers could potentially be trained.
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Yesterday, Asked what it would mean to claim a record-extending 20th grand slam title, China Russia and Israel The ongoing investigation into possible Russian interference in the US presidential election and the shock firing of FBI Director James Comey spotlights how cybercrime threatens to undermine the very fabric of our democracy But last weeks global WannaCry ransomware attack which has infected more than 300000 computers worldwide show that extortion is the primary motive of hackers And it came as no surprise when a slew of top online security firms on Tuesday drew links between WannaCry and previous North Korean hacks “It is similar to North Korea’s backdoor malicious codes” Simon Choi a senior researcher with South Korea’s Hauri Labs cybersecurity firm told the Associated Press Today an elite squad of 6800 North Korean state hackers are engaged in fraud blackmail and online gambling that together generate annual revenue of $860 million according to the Korea Institute of Liberal Democracy in Seoul And as US state infrastructure and military facilities become ever more controlled via computer systems the scope for hacking to do real physical damage rupturing gas pipelines crashing crowded commuter trains or sending stock markets reeling increases day by day “Foreign currency earning through cybercrime is their ordinary day to day operation which can suddenly turn into offensive cyber attacks in times of crisis and war” says Professor Lim Jong-in of Korea Universitys Department of Cyber Defense and a former special security advisor to former South Korean President Park Geun-Hye “The North Korean cyber threat keeps advancing and attacks on national infrastructure pose a serious national security threat” North Koreas cybercrime operations made world headlines following the 2014 hack of Sony Entertainment Pictures in revenge for the satirical movie The Interview which lampooned the Kim clan In the aftermath Barack Obama became the first US President to blame a nation state for a cyber attack “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States” fumed Obama However despite the Sony attacks infamy North Korean cybercrime has been brewing for a long time ‘War will be [waged as] information warfare’ North Korea embarked on sustained IT and telecommunications development in 1979 when Pyongyang first sought to establish a microchip plant through a UN-sponsored project In 1983 North Korea had its first computer assembly plant with a computer technology college following two years later In 1986 North Korea reportedly received 25 Soviet instructors to train “cyberwarriors” Fast-forward to 1995 and Kim Jong Il father of Kim Jong Un and son of North Koreas founding father Kim Il Sung was openly exulting cyber warfare “In the 20th century war is with bullets over oil” the middle Kim said “But in the 21st century war will be [waged as] information warfare” A year later North Korea gained its first Internet link to the outside world via the Pyongyang office of the UN Development Program According to Kim Hung Gwang a former computer science professor in Pyongyang who defected to the South the first North Korean cyber attack occurred in 2004 Following the collapse of the six-party denuclearization talks in 2008 North Korea responded with threats of a “hi-tech” war On July 4 the next year Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks flooding a network with data to trigger a crash targeted South Korean and US government departments media outlets and financial websites via disk-wiping malware In March 2011 to coincide with the annual joint US-South Korea military exercises South Korean media financial and critical infrastructure again fell victim to a malware attack Dubbed “10 Days of Rain” by the McAfee antivirus firm the breach also targeted US and South Korean military targets and jammed the GPS systems of hundreds of civilian aircraft and ships In May 2013 several South Korean financial institutions and the governments website Domain Name System registry were hacked Read More: The World Can Expect More Cybercrime From North Korea North Koreas cyber operations are not random sporadic attacks but form part of an ongoing carefully orchestrated national campaign Its modern peacetime strategy although due to the signing of an armistice rather than peace deal the two Koreas technically remain at war is to launch low-intensity operations to disrupt the status quo in enemy states without spiraling into a battle the Kim regime cannot win “North Korea has hackers for targeting Europe the US and Asia all waiting ready to be activated” says the defector Kim Owing to decades of impoverished isolation North Koreas bloated military remains technically ossified and Kim Jong Un is cognizant of the unfavorable conventional military balance This explains his determined quest for nuclear weapons the ultimate equalizer toward which an estimated $11 billion to $32 billion has been funneled so far Cyber capabilities are also attractive given their low development costs attribution difficulties and opportunities for acquiring intelligence Plus the asymmetric balance is for once in North Koreas favor; the worlds most cloistered nation with Internet penetration of less than 1% can inflict exponentially more harm against the tech-reliant West than it could ever suffer itself Moreover cyber warfare is not only cheap compared to conventional warfare but can in fact be turned into a considerable cash cow Following Februarys fourth nuclear test the UN imposed unprecedented sanctions that have further weakened North Koreas conventional military capabilities restricting access to imported jet fuel for example thus augmenting the importance of unconventional warfare The sanctions also hinder the regimes traditional modes of generating revenue generally exporting coal and minerals Because the closer Pyongyang gets to a bomb the harder the international community squeezes the more cash must be earned through illicit means like cybercrime Attacks are ramping up in scale frequency and audacity North Korea is chief suspect in the attempted heist of $1 billion dollars from Bangladesh Central Bank in February last year (they made off with $81 million) This is on top of raids on a bank in the Philippines the previous October and Tien Phong Bank in Vietnam that December According to analysts at Internet security firm Symantec all three raids used code identical to the Sony hack “Weve never seen an attack where a nation-state has gone in and stolen money” Eric Chien a security researcher at Symantec told the New York Times “This is a first” North Korea is now suspected of hacks on banks in 18 countries However as one might expect South Korean businesses are primary targets largely to undermine popular confidence in the Seoul government and institutions Last May North Korean agents stole the personal details of 103 million users of the Interpark e-commerce firm Click and extort A sudden ping made the Interpark employee look up from his cluttered cubicle in Seouls well-heeled Gangnam neighborhood The email came from an address matching his brothers name and used a familiar salutation Attached was a screen-wallpaper photo file named “OurFamilyabcdscr” including an image probably gleaned from social media The employee didnt think twice about clicking on the innocuous sounding file unwittingly unleashing hidden malware into his company computer The virus then sought out Interparks file-sharing server The servers password was obtained though a Brute Force Attack an unsophisticated but formidable code-breaking technique equivalent to a safecracker whirring through all possible combinations until he stumbles across the correct one The virus was then free to blanket the entire company until it reached the administrator’s computer From there 26658753 pieces of private company and customer information were retrieved split into 16 separate files and snuck out via the original compromised employee’s computer That hack led to the attempted blackmail of Interpark bosses for 3 billion won ($26 million) of untraceable bitcoin But North Korean cybercrime has consequences much graver than falling shares and undermined public confidence Military facilities are also favorite targets In 2008 defense contractor Aegiss cruiser and guided missile designs were hacked In 2013 Russia’s Kaspersky Lab antivirus firm revealed a widespread breach of the South Korean defense industry Then came hacks of aerospace firm LIG Nex1 in 2015 and shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries in 2016 The US government knows this game all too well Between 2009-10 whats believed to be a joint-mission between American and Israeli security services struck Irans uranium enrichment facilities Dubbed “Stuxnet” by antivirus analysts the worm was administered to Irans nuclear plants by first infecting the systems of five contractor firms demonstrating that even “air-gapped” networks those completely separated from the Internet can easily be penetrated As a result an estimated 984 uranium enriching centrifuges or one third of capacity were destroyed putting Irans nuclear program back by a year There are also reports that North Koreas recent spate of failed missile launches is due to a similar US-led cyber operation North Korea itself has used similar methods to breach “air-gapped” networks In December 2014 a South Korean nuclear power plant operator was hacked though no physical damage was caused Myriad examples demonstrate American systems are similarly vulnerable: The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation breaches from 2010 until 2013; the Democratic National Committee hack before Novembers presidential election; hacks of private firms like Anthem Chase Target and JP Morgan losing millions of customer records and valuable financial data “While theres no evidence that North Korea has developed infrastructure-attacking malware there is probably no way to know unless it is activated” says Daniel Pinkston a North Korea expert at Seouls Troy University and author of a report on North Korean cybercrime Raised for cybercrime It would be arrogant to assume North Korea doesnt have the ability Today the nations brightest youngsters are groomed from age seven or eight to be hackers First they are drilled in the standard sciences at some of the 290 elite middle schools dotting the country Then the top 50 of each year are picked to attend the prestigious Kumsong [High] School where 60% of the curriculum concerns computers The most accomplished continue their studies at top colleges Kim Il Sung University North Koreas most prestigious academic institution that’s stocked with the nations brainiest progeny has one of its seven colleges dedicated to computer science The Kim Il Military Academy established in 1986 has a five-year program to train students in software programming technical reconnaissance and electronic warfare Around a quarter of graduates are assigned to cyber hacking offices belonging to the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) The RBG is North Koreas principle intelligence and clandestine operations organ responsible for raids infiltrations disruptions and other espionage It is believed responsible for the March 2010 torpedo attack that sank South Koreas Cheonan naval vessel with the loss of 46 lives The RGB has a cyber attack unit known as Bureau 91 which conducts email phishing operations against citizens of the South But the bulk of DPRK cyber capabilities are controlled via the RGBs Bureau 121 which is thought responsible for the Sony attack and boasts around 3000 staff Bureau 121 has become one of Kim Jong Uns most prestigious military organizations One high-level defector even told TIME of a young hacker whose success earned a reprieve for his banished “disloyal” parents to return to the more comfortable capital Read More: Researchers See Similarities Between Global Ransomware Attack and North Korean Hacks Due to capacity restrictions on North Koreas own Internet and the need to muddle the attribution of attacks hundreds of top North Korean cyber operatives are sent overseas Jang Se-yul a North Korean who trained at Mirim University the countrys top engineering college before defecting to the South in 2008 says he keeps in touch with some of his former classmates who now work for Bureau 121 They include members of a six-strong team who were sent to Chinas northeastern city of Shenyang near the North Korean border Everyday they write software in a ramshackle industrial robot development plant at a business park outside the city But at night the cells real mission is launching cyber attacks against South Korean financial institutions Similar to a terrorist cell they have no knowledge of their fellow hackers inside China only reporting to bosses in their homeland “The last contact I had was last year” says Jang “They said the Chinese authorities were cracking down and so they would set up in Thailand or Laos instead” In the early days North Koreans learned hacking skills from China and Soviet Russia China continued schooling North Korean hackers until 2010 when its leadership became wary of the flourishing hacking skills of its erstwhile subordinates and nixed the training programs But given the nature of cybercrime competent computer programmers can essentially self-teach via open source tools on darkweb forums the Internet beyond the search engines Last year the China government even sent a memorandum to companies employing North Korean IT staff to warn against potential cyber terrorism Code in every smartphone Its not just China that should be worried Northeastern Chinese cities such as Shenyang and Dandong boast more than 100 IT firms that subcontract work from large companies including Huawei Xiaomi and Samsung Highly-skilled North Koreans are hired by those subcontractors owing to their below market wages giving them the means to reach a significant proportion of households on Earth “North Koreans are planting malicious Zero-Day [completely hidden] codes in the software that these subcontractors develop for launching future attacks” says Professor Lim Even if Beijing is wary of North Korean cybercrime it still abets the Kim regime When in 2014 South Korean investigators traced a hack on Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power to a server in Shenyang the Chinese government refused to permit access or cooperate in any way And experts agree that should relations between Beijing and Washington sour the Chinese military may utilize North Korean hackers or at the very least purchase any intelligence they gather independently “That is a likely scenario” says the defector Jang Potential targets are legion The US and South Korea are among most advanced countries in terms of communications infrastructure traffic management power grids banking making them correspondingly susceptible to cyber attacks The US is arguably the most vulnerable owing to aging infrastructure which was either never originally intended to be computerized or simply has severely outdated security protocols In the event of all-out inter-Korean war North Korea could launch blistering cyber attacks against US infrastructure and its financial systems to hamper the swift dispatch of troops and arms Pyongyang strategists posit that a delay of a week may be enough to occupy Seoul with a lightning attack and negotiate favorable peace terms with Washington Read More: North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Are Not Reason Enough to Start a War Ominously should North Korea develop a nuclear missile capable of hitting the US mainland a prospect experts say could take three to five years cyber attacks may spike The presence of countervailing nuclear deterrents which lessen the prospect of full-scale war can in fact incentivize lower-level acts of aggression US policymakers do not have a pre-established menu of proportional response options for cyber attacks and the international legal framework regarding state responsibility is weak In a public talk in February 2015 NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers said of cybercrime “we’ve got to publicly acknowledge it we’ve got to publicly attribute it and then we’ve got to talk about what we’re going to do to impose cost” But the greatest danger of North Korean cybercrime may stem from personality politics The brazen Sony hack accompanied by threats against company employees and cinema patrons was predicated by an insult to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un In North Koreas stifling autocracy the Kim clan is nigh deified and slights against the leadership treated with the utmost gravity The scheduled release of The Interview also coincided with a UN vote on the Commission of Inquiry report on human rights abuses in North Korea which directly implicated Kim This likely contributed to the scale of the response and any future affronts may likewise spark a sudden escalation President Trump is not a man to mince words During his presidential campaign he called Kim a “maniac” and a “madman” Following recent missile tests he dispatched a US Naval Strike Group to the Korean Peninsula and warned of a “major major” conflict with North Korea if Kim refused to denuclearize Invective and perceived provocations from the Oval Office perhaps owing to more nuclear tests or some other escalation could see cyber warfare unleashed to settle scores once again For today we are all at the mercy of hotheads wielding ice-cold technology With reporting by Stephen Kim / Seoul Write to Charlie Campbell at charliecampbell@timecomImran Khan is back from his first official visit to China.8 million to almost $8. aims to establish the causes of the disaster, They strained over gnats and they swallowed camels, “This is unprecedented in my life,“This flexibility within Measure One is consistent with the vast majority of federal and state constitutional provisions,上海贵族宝贝Hasim,S.500 toward each childs approximately $25.
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