Mecca for North Korean Hackers

Mecca for North Korean Hackers
Mecca for North Korean Hackers

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By Jung Kwon Ho
The Daily NK

Shenyang, China -- Moranbong University, which is directly managed by the
Operations Department of the Workers=C3=A2=E2=82=AC=E2=84=A2 Party, is said to be leading technical
developments in cyber war against foreign countries.

A North Korean source said in a telephone interview with Daily NK on the 10th, =C3=A2
=E2=82=AC=C5=93I heard that the U.S. and South Korea were attacked. If it were confirmed that
North Korea was responsible, it would have been by the graduates of Moranbong

According to the source, since the mid-1990s, the Workers=C3=A2=E2=82=AC=E2=84=A2 Party has been
watching the worldwide trend whereby the IT field started dominating, and
founded Moranbong University in 1997 in order to train experts in
data-processing, code-breaking, hacking and other high-tech skills. The results
of new student selections, curricula and training are reported only to the
Director of the Operations Department, Oh Geuk Ryul.

The foundation of the University was spurred by the North Korean invasion of the
South in Kangreung, Kangwon Province in 1996. 26 North Korean special agents
tried to infiltrate South Korea after passing under the Northern Limit Line in a
special, mini-submarine, but they were all killed or committed suicide after the
operation failed. After that, there was a debate within the South Korean Liaison
Office under the Operations Department of the Party about the sending of spies
to the South and collecting intelligence through contact with resident spies in
South Korean society. After listening to such suggestions, Kim Jong Il approved
the establishment of the university.

It is a five-year university which selects 30 freshmen every year. The
university makes every freshman a military first lieutenant. In sophomore year,
students take courses in martial arts, shooting and other special skills, and
then they take courses in assembly languages, wiretapping, code-breaking, and

Graduates are dispatched to the headquarters of the Operations Department of the
Party or local South Korea Liaison Offices, where they are put in charge of
collecting intelligence from intelligence organizations and the military of
South Korea, the U.S., Japan, China and other neighboring countries, or
demolishing programs.

Since 2003, more than 200 graduates from the University have started working for
the Operations Department or as professors of Moranbong University. Some of them
have been dispatched to China in order to train in international techniques or
to earn foreign currency as Chosun Computer Center (KCC) workers.

According to the source, Moranbong Univeristy is better than Mirim University,
the former main educational institution for North Korean hackers, in terms of
equipment, technology and curricula. It is located in Jung-district, just across
from the No. 3 Government Building, in which the United Front Department, the
Liaison Department and the Operation Department are stationed. The real purpose
of the university is not officially revealed even to general agents of the
Operations Department, because it is treated as top secret.

The source concluded, =C3=A2=E2=82=AC=C5=93Wiretapping has its limits because of a lack of
equipment, but they have world-class hacking technology.=C3=A2=E2=82=AC[9d]

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