Chairwoman Kim, Ranking Member Bera, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today on this important and timely topic. It is an honor to be here. My name is Jenny Jun, Research Fellow in the CyberAI Project at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) at Georgetown University. I am also finishing my PhD at Columbia
University where I have conducted research on cyber coercion. My comments today are my own and not to be attributed to CSET, Atlantic Council, or Columbia University.
North Korea’s Cyber Operations
If nuclear bombs are North Korea’s ultimate weapon, then cyber capabilities are its Swiss army knife. North Korea frequently uses its cyber capabilities to further a variety of national goals from stealing cryptocurrency to fund its nuclear and missile program to espionage on organizations related to COVID-19 research.1 Through cyber operations, North Korea is able to target globally despite its physical isolation. Kim Jong-un himself allegedly referred to cyber capabilities as an “all-purpose sword,” according to a 2013 briefing by the South Korean National Intelligence Service.2 How often North Korea uses cyber capabilities and in diverse settings poses a vastly different policy problem than responding to its nuclear and missile threat.
Download Full TestimonyTestimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Indo-Pacific
- Sean Lyngaas, “Half of North Korean missile program funded by cyberattacks and crypto theft, White House says” CNN, May 10, 2023 <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/10/poliKcs/north-korean-missile-programcyberahttps://www.cnn.com/2023/05/10/poliKcs/north-korean-missile-programcybera<acks/index.html; Mandiant, “APT43: North Korean Group Uses Cybercrime to Fund Espionage Operations” https://mandiant.widen.net/s/zvmfw5fnjs/apt43-report.
- Ji-Young Kong, Jong In Lim and Kyoung Gon Kim, “The All-Purpose Sword: North Korea’s Cyber Operations and Strategies,” 2019 11th International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon), Tallinn, Estonia, 2019, pp. 1-20, doi:10.23919/CYCON.2019.8756954.