US Cyber Attack "Sabotaged Kim's Missile Launch", Former British Foreign Secretary Claims

Tyler Durden's picture

Seemingly confirming what we hinted at previously, The Sun newspaper reports that the US may have sabotaged Kim Jong-un’s missile test yesterday through a cyber-attack causing the rocket to spectacularly flop, according to a former British foreign secretary.

In light of the recent NYT report that the US has been able to sabotage and remotely control North Korean launches for years courtesy of cyberattacks, we previosuly wondered if the US did not play at least a minor role in this attempted, but failed, launch.

Three years ago, President Barack Obama ordered Pentagon officials to step up their cyber and electronic strikes against North Korea’s missile program in hopes of sabotaging test launches in their opening seconds.


Soon a large number of the North’s military rockets began to explode, veer off course, disintegrate in midair and plunge into the sea. Advocates of such efforts say they believe that targeted attacks have given American antimissile defenses a new edge and delayed by several years the day when North Korea will be able to threaten American cities with nuclear weapons launched atop intercontinental ballistic missiles.

And now, as The Sun reports, Sir Malcolm Rifkind claims American intelligence has used cyber warfare to successfully foil missile tests before and that there is a “strong belief” that President Trump’s administration was behind North Korea’s latest failed launch.

Speaking with the BBC, he said:

“It could have failed because the system is not competent enough to make it work, but there is a very strong belief that the US through cyber methods has been successful on several occasions in interrupting these sorts of tests and making them fail.”

But Sir Malcolm, who served as foreign secretary from 1995 to 1997 in John Major’s government, did warn that despite the missile flop, North Korea remains a serious nuclear threat. He said:

“But don’t get too excited by that, they’ve also had quite a lot of successful tests.


“They are an advanced country when it comes to their nuclear weapons programme. That still remains a fact – a hard fact.

Shell-shocked North Korean experts admit the secretive nation now appears far more advanced than previously thought. Dave Schmerler, a research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California, told The Wall Street Journal: “We’re totally floored right now. I was not expecting to see this many new missile designs.”

Sabotage or not, one can't help but wonder if the US intelligence agencies have the capability to blow up a North Korean missile after launch, do they also have the capability to 'launch' a North Korean missile, setting in motion yet another 'safe' false flag to enrage the world?

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So Close's picture

Not the Russians?

lester1's picture

The same UFO also took out a space X rocket. We have unbelievable top secret weaponry at Area 51 !.. President Trump is tapping into that.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

The US will now take credit for every misfortune experienced by an adversary.

ISIS style.

dark fiber's picture

This drivel is just aimed at impressionable teenagers who don't know much about anything but playing with their iPhone.  This is the level Western leadership has sunk to.

Placerville's picture

Total BS!

The Fake News continues.

JRobby's picture

No need to nuke them if they can't get one off the ground?

Just hack the guidence and turn it back on them.

What a savings!

gladih8r's picture

Most likely the GWX upgrade popped up in the guidance system and started to do its thing.   

AllBentOutOfShape's picture

Just hack the guidence and turn it back on them.

or hack it and turn it against South Korea.

In other words, false flag it.

hannah's picture

trumps red line was crossed and he couldnt attack north korea so they fabricatea story in which they blew the missle up....right

The central planners's picture

No, the Russian sabotaged the tomahawks syrian attack remember?  only 23 from 59 but shhhhh the american power has no match in the world.

HRClinton's picture

What part of what I said before was unclear? 

NK is a Proxy front for PRC.

sgt_doom's picture

Should be the Russkies --- aren'[t they always behind everything?  (According to ABC Fake News story-teller, Brian Williams?)


Dugald's picture


At the bottom of the pile you will always find those sneaky Brits.......I know it true, cos I got it direct from my cobber Donald Duck....

Anteater's picture

The Pentagon is desperately trying to hide the MASSIVE FAIL of their THAAD missile system they had just installed in South Korea. Fact is, every one of Reagan's Star Wars sci-fi fantasy fails is STILL BEING DEDUCTED FROM YOUR PAYCHECK! Boeing. Raytheon. LOCKHEED. General Dynamics. Electric Boat.


The fact is, DPRK doesn't have nukes. They fire off ANFO, a 1960s Pentagon research project, to extort aid monies. No radioactivity has ever been detected. Google 'Divine Strake'. You've been played. Clinton sent DPRK the AN and FO by the supertanker load! ANFO is cheap low-tech mining technology used to remove mountains.

Their rocketry program is at the Sputnik stage, with poor inertial guidance and no targeting ability. A YUUGE domestic psyop charade to extort your last life savings for the Blue Team of war profiteers, and the double-dip Mil.Gov Corporate:State pensioners.

SOW, the Pentagon just illegally tested a thermonuclear weapon this week!


OCnStiggs's picture

Your claimed "Illegal thermonuclear weapon test" was nothing more than a "shape drop." There was no detonation. Nothing illegal.

You evidently missed the fact that most of the NK missile failure that were fished out of the sea contained LORAL guidance systems. Remember LORAL was a huge Democratic donor that Bill and Hill allowed to go "help" the Chinese with their "peaceful" satellite program? (In exchange for huge donations to their campaign.) The evidence indicates that they were way beyond the "sputnik stage" back then.

As for your claim on radioactive fallout: "However, that’s unlikely as all previous nuclear bomb tests in North Korea have released radioactive gases."

If you have any credible evidence on the THAAD fail, I would like to see it.

Just sayin'

Kayman's picture


I am reliably informed that the $6 Trillion is safely stored at the Federal Reserve. Honest.

fockewulf190's picture

What do you think funded that gigantic and silent "V" flying over Arizona back in 1997 that got Fife Symington all worked up (but only after he left office and when his ability to do something real was lost). Ben Rich wasn't talking out of his ass about how far research and development has advanced. The only thing I wonder about is how is that spent government capital being laundered in such a way as to bypass corporate balance sheets. The money can't all be spent on hookers and blow.

eroc66's picture

it is actually spelled doubleplusgood...

sgt_doom's picture

I dunno, but I doubt it.

Notice the horrible lack of color corrordination with this Sir dood's green tie and formal gray suit --- too horrible to be staged, me thinks!

Boomberg's picture

When are the North Koreans going to learn how to create a secure wi-fi connection with a password?

pine_marten's picture

Goading.  So what if thousands die?

juicy_bananas's picture

Does North Korea even have Al Gore's first invention?

Kayman's picture

Yes. N. Korea has lots of Hot Air.

Arnold's picture

The Gore jean /gene pool was large.

Gore's dad invented the transportation Highway.

saldulilem's picture

They don't know that we know that they know

Sam.Spade's picture

A ballistic missile is one of the most complex pieces of single-use machinery ever designed or produced.  It consists of millions of parts manufactured in hundreds or thousands of locations.  Most of them are impossible to fully test on an individual basis. And most are made from some form of digital data, even if it is only an Autocad 'drawing' or CNC file.  Also, most come from a long line of multi-step processes, from (for example) forming a 'plastic' extrusion through to spot machining and then inserting of alloy bushings which might have been, themselves, cast from some exotic allow and then precision-machined using a digitally-controlled mill.

Hundreds of critical metrics in each sub-part, from materials to dimensions to surface finishes to insertion pressures.  They can't all be tested post-manufacturer.  Every one relies on the most of the process doing the right thing to begin with.

So what do you have here?  A hacker's paradise, where the alteration of some small detail in one of thousands of  design documents on any of hundreds of computers in dozens of different locations won't be revelled until the actual launch of the missile that holds the corrupted part.

Yes, the North Korean missile could easily have been brought down by a hack.  As could the last SpaceX failure.  Or the one before that. Or the Titan III that blew up just before that.

OK, project the dots.

Because they could connect in a Minuteman sitting in a silo in North Dakota right now.  Or a missile outside of Moscow.

The more complex the system, the less often the final unit can be tested by operation, the more susceptible it will be to 'hacking'. 

By anyone.

Not just an opposition government.  But ANYONE organized enough to make the attempt.

Think free market.  Think a super-silk road, where master codesmiths forge cracker tools to sell to any script-kiddie wannabe with the Bitcoin.  Then envision hundreds of thousands of the worlds desperate poor, buying these cyber-lockpics and using them like lottery tickets to probe every crevice of the Internet, looking for systems to hack and, if they find something, to sell to the link to the highest bidder.

Long-distance warfare using super-technical one-shot robots, such as ICBMs, may just have become obsolete.

The theme of this kind of free-market underworld emerging in the Internet, one where hacks of any kind are bought and sold to the highest bidder, has the potential to remake our authoritarian world.  It's not just limited to ballistic missiles.

Thieves Emporium is the first novel I have ever seen that explores this world.

Some reviewers have put it on par with 1984, Brave New World, and Atlas shrugged.

You can read it for free, at least for now, because the editors at The Daily Bell thought it was so good they ran it is a serial which is still up beginning at

Or you can just buy a copy at Amazon (rated 4.6 in 118 reviews), Nook (same review, fewer ratings), Smashwords (ditto), or iBooks.

Read it now before The Deep State forces it off the market.

Bill of Rights's picture

Thank you Sun I appreciated the knowledge...

sgt_doom's picture

That dood is always hawking that godawful book!

Sam.Spade's picture

'Always'?  Often, maybe, but not always. 

I do it because I'm convince that most ZH'ers recognizing that the Internet has made a change in our world-wide political structures that is as significant as that made by movable type.  But, in this case, it's a shift in the playing field from centralized hierarchical political systems to emergent dispersed ones.  In other words, now, for the first time in the history of the human race, God does NOT favour 'big battalions' (to paraphrase Napoleon).

Unfortunately, the concept is a little to deep for blog posts, so I agreed to publish a book that makes the point.  And that is why I mention it whenever the subject seems relevant.

Often, but not always.

And, BTW, the book not 'godawful'.  Poorly written in spots, maybe.  Not 'literature', true.  But still very profound.  I suggest you take a look at the free serial if you haven't yet done so.

The Ram's picture

Good Post Sam.Spade.  Modern technology is indeed very complex and we never know who is doing what.  I have worked in IT for a number of years now as a Business Analyst, and what I see is that people have to work harder and harder to get things to work.  When you start to layer one complexity on another, the results are never very predictable.  I have come to the conclusion that technology is a black hole that will suck us in and consume us.  In fact, I can see technology destroying a lot of jobs, but on the other hand, creating an army of human 'robots' who will be needed to continue to develop the code to feed 'the machine.'  In the end, it's very entropic!  I know, most people in IT will disagree with me.  Most of my IT collegues are exhausted all the time from there efforts, but they cannot see the bigger picture.  They cannot see how their continued efforts just require the expenditure of even greater efforts.  It's a paradox in a way because greater complexity actually results in greater entropy!

Sam.Spade's picture

And thank you for the kind words.

As an IT person, I would like to hear your thoughts on one of my theories.  It is that the Internet can be made secure.  However, to do so, the government would have to shut it down and do a full security audit of every component init, as well as impliment a draconian national firewall around our little portion of it.  They they would have to prohibit anyone from logging on to it without a verifiable national Id.  And then, finally, after they restart it, they would have to prohibit the use of any new software on it until that program has also had a full security audit, including a check of how it performs when interfacing with every other approved program.

In other words, TPTB can either: 

1.  Give up on the Internet all together, in which case they will instantly become the world's largest North Korea


2.  Run through the procedure outlined above, which case they will always be at least ten years behind every other country in the world (think the old Soviet Union),


3.  Accept that the Internet will always be insecure, meaning there will always be dark markets, dark money, and places in it to hide where they just won't be able to go.


Sabibaby's picture

Options 3 is the only viable option IMO. I went to college to learn how to build networks, freshman in highschool today learn this. If option 1 were implimented darknets would be prevalent everywhere plus too much of our infrastructure depends on the internet. Option 2 is ideal for safety I guess but there are work arounds like in option 1, the gov would need to stop building backdoors into hardware/software also. Finely, everytime something is "uncrackable" someone finds an algorithym to exploit it.


A possible better solution might be to use a new type of computer code and hardware that is completely incompatible with our current technology. Maybe not even binary but something else. Quantum technology might be the answer because even if it's crackable in theory the equipment is difficult to obtain -at least for now.

Kayman's picture


And Murphy works unashamedly for both sides.

Sam.Spade's picture

Not 'both' sides, but ALL of them.  Because I argue that, thanks to the Internet, there are thousands of independent actors, each with his/her own 'side', most acting out of free-market self-interest.  And I also argue that Murphy favors the simple, meaning the small hacker over the state intelligence agency.

TwelveOhOne's picture

Loved your book.

See, now THIS is how an unpaid advertisement should be run!  Not just "here's a link to my book, buy it" (GraveDancer's technique), or "here's a link to a potentially-related article at my site" (Xythras and his team).

Cheers, Max/Sam!

Sabibaby's picture

Yeah, good advertisement. Impulse buy but I'll need something new to read by the time it arrives.

Sam.Spade's picture

And thank you also for your kind comments.

East Indian's picture

An excellent book. I especially liked the prosaic, practival ending, where there is no poetic justice. 

I have since recommended it to a bevy of like-minded friends.

Sam.Spade's picture

Thank you for your kind words.  Are you making your recommendations in India?  If so, I am curous how the concepts in the book play out in that culture, especially since the currency fiasco.  Comments?

Dugald's picture


Do you have real evidence that they did not source most of their components on eBay????

Sam.Spade's picture

I have no doubt that North Korea purchases everything they can using cut-outs on the open market somewhere, maybe Ebay.  But I am also quite sure that a large part of their missile design requires custom manufacturing, something that they will have to do in-country because of the obstructionist efforts of the U.S. government.

quesnay's picture

Seems unlikely. If the US has this capability to sabatoge missile launches, then revealing the ability at this stage would be extremely foolish. The best strategy would wait until real war, when you could attack by suprise and decide the battle before it even starts. You would never show your hand by sabatoging a 'test' like that unless you are an idiot.