WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (Yonhap) — The nominee for CIA director Mike Pompeo said Thursday North Korea has overcome technological barriers and is capable of engaging in “offensive cyber operations.”
Pompeo made the remark during his Senate confirmation hearing, expressing concern that commercial technologies have spread into the “hands of those who wish us harm.”
“We have long seen this dynamic with the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile technology, but increasingly in the cyber domain, countries thought to be unsophisticated, such as North Korea, have overcome what appear to be low technological barriers of entry to engage in offensive cyber operations,” he said.
“The U.S. must continue to invest wisely to maintain a decisive advantage,” he said.
Pompeo also said the North has “dangerously accelerated its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities, with little regard for international pressure.”
The North’s cyber capabilities have been a greater focus of U.S. attention since a massive hacking attack on Sony Pictures, which Pyongyang is believed to have carried out in retaliation for Sony’s release of a comedy film ridiculing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.