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Seoul: North Koreans Train for Cyberwar - 2004-10-04

South Korea's Defense Ministry says North Korea has trained hundreds of computer hackers to wage cyberwar against other countries.

In a report to the National Assembly's National Defense Committee, the ministry said North Korean hackers are among the best in the world.

The report said 500 to 600 military hackers in North Korea have been put through a five-year university course training them to penetrate the computer systems of South Korea, the United States and Japan. Officials say the North Koreans are able to launch cyberattacks to gather intelligence information.

Earlier this year, hackers broke into 211 computers at 10 government agencies in South Korea, including those at defense- and security-related agencies.

South Korea's National Intelligence Services said in July that the attacks were launched from China, but it could not be determined whether the hackers were Chinese or nationals from a third country using China-based computers.