A new army of South Korean soldiers was intently focused on fending off the enemy attack. Where were they coming from? What tactics were they using? And how best to neutralize them?
The attackers were probably North Korean — that’s a given on this divided peninsula, which remains stuck in a state of war — but those manning the defenses weren’t armed conscripts along the demilitarized zone. They were some of South Korea’s savviest computer whizzes, and they were dealing with that most 21st-
century of invasions: the cyberattack.
“I do think about how I’m going to defend us against an attack from North Korea,” said Lee Kyung-won, a 16-year-old high school student from Suwon who was part of a team fighting a hypothetical cyberwar during a “white hat” hacking competition last week.
Having endured numerous cyberattacks — apparently stemming from North Korea — in recent years, South Korea is bolstering its technological defenses.
The National Intelligence Service and the Defense Ministry have this month been hosting a competition to find computer geniuses to use their skills for good — hence the “white hats” — by intercepting attacks from nefarious “black hat” hackers.