/ 29 June 2011

South Korea to open cyber warfare school

South Korea’s military will create a cyber warfare school to help combat growing internet attacks from North Korea, an official said on Wednesday.

The army has teamed up with Korea University to open in 2012 the new cyber-defence school, which will admit 30 students a year for a four-year course.

Courses include how to break malicious internet codes, ways to psychologically prepare for cyber warfare and other IT technologies to guard against potential attacks, an army spokesperson said.

“We … seek to nurture warriors to fight in cyber warfare amid growing cyber-terror threats from North Korea and to secure a stable supply of specialists,” the army said in a statement.

The military will pay tuition for the students who upon graduation will become army officers required to work in online warfare-related units for the following seven years, the spokesperson said.

The North reportedly maintains elite hacker units, prompting the South to set up a specific military command to combat them.

In May South Korean prosecutors said the North’s military intelligence launched a cyber attack that paralysed operations at one of the country’s largest banks.

North Korea’s defence ministry denied the allegation and called it “absurd”.

Seoul also accused Pyongyang of staging cyber attacks on websites of major South Korean government agencies and financial institutions in March this year and in July 2009.

Pyongyang also rejected those allegations, accusing Seoul of inventing the charges to raise tensions. — AFP