There is an air of certainty that North Korea is still far from being a major nuclear threat to the US. This is made apparent by the botched missile test that happened last week. However, America is still not in the clear as North Korea has a secret weapon under their sleeves and this is cyber hacking.

North Korean cyber warfare capabilities has long been considered as a threat

Ever since North Korea acquired computer technology, the Pentagon has acknowledged the rogue state’s ability to conduct cyber warfare. This is demonstrated during North Korea’s attack on Sony websites due to the movie “The Interview,” which ridiculed Kim Jong Un.

The United States confirmed that the sabotage experienced by Sony pictures was due to cyber attacks perpetrated by North Korean hackers. US military intelligence have counter-hacked North Korean mainframes and have discovered that the IP addresses used to break into Sony came from IP addresses in use in North Korea.

How can hacking be a serious threat to the United States?

According to John Carlin, former assistant attorney general for National security, there are over 200 US departments that are vulnerable to cyber-attack. This affirms his fear that North Korean hackers can easily exploit America’s weak network security. In line with this threat, President Trump has created a team of specialists who will tackle this issue and hopefully propose steps to be taken to upgrade cyber defenses.

Though the CIA and FBI have constantly improved their cyber defenses, the overall network structure of the United States is in itself vulnerable to attack. This is by far the weakest spot in American defenses that the North Koreans can easily exploit. A major security breach, due to hacking may compromise top secret intel on troop deployment, sensitive information regarding missions and orders and also access to various equipment and weapons.

North Koreans may have used hacking to fund military projects

This is a possibility, which the CIA and FBI are closely monitoring. The likelihood that the North Koreans have already targeted banks and financial institutions and stole money to fund their supposed nuclear program. American banks are among the least protected and can easily be targeted by hackers.

Trump may be confident that Pyongyang doesn’t have the capability at the moment to conduct military strikes against the US; However, cyber-attacks, which can also cause major damage, might be North Korea’s primary method of waging war against America.