Bureau 121: North Korea Elite Hacker Unit

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Earlier last week Sony Pictures suffered from the security breach which affects its physical, digital and financial lose. Hackers have leaked tonnes of sensitive details of the Sony Pictures in files sharing sites and torrents sites.  In the recent leak, hackers have leaked the login credentials of the Sony Server and tonnes of sensitive data belongs to company's employees.

As  the investigation of the hack is still in the process, which is conducted by Madiant and FBI. Preliminary investigations have pointed fingers towards a disk wiping malware which may have been sponsored by North Korea. North Korea has meanwhile denied any hand in the Sony Pictures hack attack. However the US law enforcement agencies still consider it as a prime suspect behind the Sony hack.

Today Reuters reported that North Korea cyber war-fare cell named Bureau 121 is behind the Sony Pictures hack.  Defectors from the North have said Bureau 121, staffed by some of the most talented computer experts in the insular state, is part of the General Bureau of Reconnaissance, an elite spy agency run by the military.

About Bureau 121
Bureau 121 unit comprises about 1,800 talented cyber-warriors. It is a part of the General Bureau of Reconnaissance, an elite spy agency run by the military. Reuters contacted with a person "Jang Se-yul", who studied at North Korea's military college for computer science, or the University of Automation, before defecting to the South six years ago.
Jang stated that members of Bureau 121 are Military hackers and are among the most talented, and rewarded personnel within North Korean military.
"For them, the strongest weapon is cyber. In North Korea, it’s called the Secret War," Jang said.
Double Face of Poor North Korea 
However North Korea is not powerful with economic, but there are another face of the countries peoples. Jang, said to Reuters that one of his friend working for the Bureau 121 have a large state-allocated apartment in an upscale part of Pyongyang, but initially his friends is from rural area of the state.
"No one knows ... his company runs business as usual. That’s why what he does is scarier," Jang said. "My friend, who belongs to a rural area, could bring all of his family to Pyongyang. Incentives for North Korea’s cyber experts are very strong ... they are rich people in Pyongyang." 

He said the hackers in Bureau 121 were among the 100 students who graduate from the University of Automation each year after five years of study. Over 2,500 apply for places at the university, which has a campus in Pyongyang, behind barbed wire.

"They are handpicked," said Kim Heung-kwang, a former computer science professor in North Korea who defected to the South in 2004, referring to the state hackers. "It is a great honor for them. It is a white-collar job there and people have fantasies about it."

Source:- Reuters 
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