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Finding Effective Responses Against Cyber Attacks for Divided Nations

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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There can be hostile relations between nations that are divided politically or ideologically, and there are threats in cyberspace as well as physical space. Although every cyber threat, like a physical threat, has countermeasures, this can be hard because of the complexity of cyberspace and the ethics in cyberspace.This study tries to find effective countermeasures for South Korea in cyberspace against North Koreas continuing cyber attacks in light of the Korean peninsulas situation, a typical example of divided nations in the world. To find good solutions, South and North Koreas cyber capabilities are compared in terms of infrastructure, organization, defensive capabilities, offensive capabilities, and vulnerabilities. Characteristics and features of North Koreas cyber attacks are inferred by analyses of past attacks. Based on these analyses, this study recommends defensive and offensive countermeasures to mitigate these cyber threats and prevent escalation. Each countermeasure is assessed using considerations such as prevention of escalation, efficient use of limited resources, international laws and ethics, and bargaining power in the real world.

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