An internationally respected think-tank has predicted an increase in North Korean sponsored cyber-terrorism.
The North Korean Strategy Think-tank (NKST), based in Washington, D.C., collates intelligence from defectors, intelligence agencies and informed international observers. Its own psychologists and strategic analysts then use this information to fine-tune their model of the rogue state in an attempt to predict the most likely behaviour of the regime.
The most recent NKST analysis anticipates that further military provocations will be instigated by North Korea. It predicts, however, that these will fall short of any act sufficient to justify an American military strike in the face of Chinese and Russian opposition to military retaliation.
The Russian analysis that the Pyongyang leadership would rather eat grass then give up their nuclear ambitions is accepted as correct. The current NKST model, however, challenges the fear propagated by western media that Kim Jong-un is mentally unstable. The model indicates a low probability that he would deliberately seek a nuclear confrontation. As one NKST source unofficially put it: ‘Pyongyang well understands that after an all-out American attack, no edible grass would remain in North Korea.’
The NKST model has concluded that the current North Korean strategy to damage its perceived enemies will focus on intensification of its already significant efforts in the area of cyber-terrorism.
The NKST model assumes a calculation by Kim Jong-un that cyber-disruption perpetuated by a nation would be unlikely to draw any significant retaliation. This is believed to be a reasonable assumption – in part because culpability is very hard to prove. The NKST also notes, however, that cyber-terrorism is different in type from military action. A military response to a cyber-attack would currently be viewed by the international community as entirely disproportionate.
Credible rumours have recently emerged that WikiLeaks may have suppressed information about North Korean cyber-terrorism – information that had been covertly fed to the organisation from US and European intelligence sources. An unnamed whistleblower within WikiLeaks is alleged to have revealed the existence of reports relating to the experimental North Korean targeting of large numbers of Wi-Fi enabled systems in the west – parts of the, so called, ‘Internet of Things’.
Superficially, many of these reports appear ludicrous, and their alleged suppression by WikiLeaks has been attributed to fear of ridicule or accusations of propagating fake news.
Specific examples of North Korea’s experimental hi-jacking of such systems are alleged to have already included:
*Increasing the oven temperature being used by one contestant in ‘the Great British Bake Off’ in order to incinerate the contestant’s soufflé.
Although appearing to be a ridiculous claim, intelligence agencies have long been aware of Kim Jong-un’s interest in western cookery programmes together with his fury at being rejected for the role of judge in an early series of MasterChef.
*Switching off lights and cameras on the ITV breakfast show, Good Morning Britain, when Piers Morgan was presenting.
As in relation to nuclear provocations, Pyongyang appears to have an eye to the consequences of its actions. The North Koreans may reason that, if the silencing of Piers Morgan was ever attributed to North Korea, it might generate considerable public support for Kim Jong-un in the UK that would counter calls for retaliation in respect of the cyber-attack.
*Triggering Theresa May’s and Angela Merkel’s alarm clocks at three o’clock every morning so the leaders are never able to get a decent night’s sleep.
Any recent close-up photograph of either leader immediately makes this apparently bizarre claim hugely more credible then it first appears to be.
Other attacks are said to have occurred on systems which can be monitored by Pyongyang but for which the practical effects of North Korean hacking are not obvious on the ground.
Examples have allegedly included:
*Disrupting the timetabling computers on the British railway network to cause commuter chaos.
*Changing remotely collected data from UK meteorological stations to make UK weather predictions wildly unreliable.
*Taking selective control of cars across Italy and causing them to be driven in a reckless and suicidal manner.
*Inserting random nonsense into tweets by Donald Trump.
*Changing satnav programs to cause large trucks to become jammed in narrow country lanes.
*Scrambling any official electronic communications that contain the term ‘Brexit’ to cause confusion and chaos in the Brexit negotiation process.
If true, all the above cyber-attacks have been cunningly and effectively concealed because those observing the outcomes would have failed to detect anything unexpected.
Whilst the above actions may seem like superficial mischief, perfecting the perpetration of such attacks is thought to have a deadly serious purpose. For example, it is believed that, by 2020, Kim Jong-un could exercise control over millions of specific, Wi-Fi enabled domestic appliances throughout America and Europe.
One capability this would afford would be to simultaneously switch to maximum heat all vulnerable ovens and hobs in the early hours of a Sunday morning. Such an attack could also include the hyper-energisation of magnetrons in many microwave ovens such that anyone attempting to disconnect the weaponised equipment would be incinerated.
The NKST calculates that such an action could result in firestorms which would decimate many western cities.
Other such doomsday capabilities might include:
*Disabling condom vending machines late on Friday nights so that an unpredicted population increase would challenge western resources.
*Allowing an Alexa voice command to arrange a next day, Amazon Prime delivery of plutonium 239 to Pyongyang.
*Aiding Jeremy Corbyn to become UK Prime Minister and hence destroying the UK economy.
*Assisting Russia in aiding Donald Trump’s re-election for a second term.
The NKST has cautioned that with so many items of commercial and domestic equipment increasing being Wi-Fi enabled, the nature of any such co-ordinated attacks would be limited only by the imagination of the Pyongyang leadership.