The biggest companies in telecommunications are taking defensive positions against a possible cyberattack by North Korea that could target their networks, the head of the Federal Communications Commission said in a letter to the heads of two of the industry’s biggest telcos.
The FCC chief, Tom Wheeler, wrote Wednesday that while the sunday attack could pose a “significant threat,” his suggestions that the U.S. could prevent any kind of attacks could only help the industry.
“We have an obligation to make sure that the infrastructure that supports our Nation’s critical communications is safe,” he wrote in the letter to Ajit Pai, the nominee to lead the FCC, which regulates the telecom industry.
“I urge you to maintain your vigilance to the threats posed by North Korean cyberactivity.”
Wheeler’s letter to Pai followed the recent public information request by the Communications Workers of America, or CWA, seeking more details about any possible cyberattacks against the major industry players in North Korea.
On the day the letter was sent, Nanfang Technology Group Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., reported a massive attack on its network by a North Korean computer hacking group in June.
The group said it took over the systems of a dozen major American companies in a bid to spread cybercrime information to North Korean customers, according to a report published in The Wall Street Journal.
Last month, a top Chinese telecom company, Wistia, blamed a North Korean hacking group dubbed Cyberbully for hacking its network to send targeted emails and make targeted phone calls.
It is not clear whether the group responsible for that attack is linked to the cyberattacks in China that hit North Korea last year.
The North Korean-American cyberattack and cyberattacks have taken their toll on the Chinese economy, which has been plagued by problems with cybercrimes.
The two cyberattacks on China last year have been linked to a North Korea-linked hacking group known as Cyposoft.
A top cyber official has since been charged with cybercrime and other crimes linked to cyberattacks linked to Wistias hacking spree.
The charges are in connection with an investigation into Wistians hacking, the North Korean government said.
The Wistia hack was attributed to a group known as Cyberbully.
Wistias cybersecurity defence team claimed that the Sophia Group Inc. computer equipment was compromised by Cycybo Group Ltd., a North Korean company.
The company told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the breach resulted from a “computer network compromise”.
The Sichuan University of Technology, a government university that employs Wiston, has since issued a statement calling Wiston “a global leader in data center computer services, which can be used for cyberthreat intelligence and cybersecurity”.
Sophias attack has led to political tension and heightened tension in China, where the government has repeatedly expressed concerns about the North Korea threat.
In September, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Keqiang said there was no need to raise security in China over any information researches about the Caucasian nation’s military.
China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner and a major trading partner of North Korea and the United States.
China was in talks with the U.S., South Korea and other European countries about a possible military trade agreement, with Hwang Jang-kook, the top North Korean envoy, at the centre of the talks.
China’s security threats also include the Uganda government and the Malaysian government which has refused to extradite North Korean defector Kim Jong Nam.
North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats have also created considerable tension with the Chinese.
North Koreans have threatened China with a nuclear missile attack if it does not accept Pyongyang’s nuclear test the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution last year against the threat, calling it “unacceptable” and “a threat to all.”
North Korea has also threatened to retaliate against China and South Korea for supporting the South Korea and China.
Chinese government agencies have received threats of “unrest, mass riots, mass assassinations” from North Korea, and have responded to those threats.
China has said it wants to provide more technical