N. Korea's Hackers Rival CIA, Expert Warns N. Korean Military Hackers Conduct War in Cyberspace A defense expert warned Thursday that North Korea’s small army of computer hackers has capacity equal that of the U.S. CIA. He said North Korea also operates some 39 bugging and surveillance posts from where it eavesdrops on communication and signals from all across South Korea. Dr. Byeon Jae-jeong of the Defense Ministry's Agency for Defense Development (ADD) made the claims in a presentation for the 2005 Defense Information Protection Conference, held at Korea University under the joint auspices of the Defense Security Command, Korea University and Korea Information Security Agency. In a lecture on Defense Ministry responses to information warfare, Byeon said, "Simulations on North Korea's information warfare capabilities reveal that Pyongyang could damage the command and control center of U.S. Pacific Command and the power grid of the U.S. mainland." Byeon said Pyongyang employs 500-600 hackers who are tasked with hacking into computer networks and disabling enemy command and communication systems. North Korea researches hacking techniques at Mirim Automation College, a five-year school that has been turning out about 100 cyber warfare specialists a year since 1981. The defense expert said Pyongyang conducts cyber warfare through the Internet servers of many countries including the U.S. and picks up signals from across South Korea from its surveillance posts. Korea's powerful neighbors China, Japan and Russia are also strengthening their information warfare capabilities, he said, citing China’s creation of a 100-man computer virus unit in 1997 and a hacking unit in 1999. ([email protected] How many of you military boys are 31337?