Date of Graduation

Fall 2017


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Brian Mazanec


North Korea, South Korea, cyberspace, cyber conflict, offensive cyberspace operation, cyberattack, cyber espionage, DarkSeoul Gang, Lazarus Group, advanced persistent threat

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


This thesis answers the fundamental questions of what North Korean capabilities and intent in cyberspace are and what North Korean threats and vulnerabilities are associated with these. It argues that although North Korea’s cyberspace resources and capabilities have increased and reached a level that represents an advanced persistent threat, its cyberspace operations have remained restrained and regional. It also argues that North Korea’s valuable assets include its ability to control cyberspace within North Korea and its ability to engage in cyberspace activities and operations from abroad. The thesis recommends that the United States government exploit these assets by denying and disrupting the use of cyberspace by covert cyber units outside of North Korea, as well as by enabling and ensuring the less monitored and less controlled use of cyberspace by civilians inside of North Korea.


© Jeremiah van Rossum

Open Access