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November 2-8, 2023 | Issue 39 - PACOM and CICYBER

Agathe Labadi, Isaiah Johnson, Martina Scalverano, Mateo Maya, Nicholas Novak

Alya Fathia Fitri, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief Editor

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning[1]

Date: November 2, 2023

Location: Singapore

Parties involved: Singapore; Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong; Taiwan; European Union (EU); USA; East Asian countries

The event: Prime Minister Lee called on countries deploying frontier AI to collaborate against its risks and overcome competition in tackling security issues. Frontier AI consists of self-learning and generative applications like ChatGPT. Lee called on a wide-encompassing collaboration that would span beyond current leaders in AI development like the EU, East Asian countries, and the US.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Singapore will likely sponsor developing countries’ engagement in ethical AI debates and international regulations, very likely to take on a leading role and secure the representation of its strategic interests. There is a roughly even chance that Singapore will pioneer the establishment of an international permanent forum on AI issues for developing countries to coordinate research and cybersecurity measures. Singapore will likely partner with advanced technological hubs like Taiwan in leveraging technological advancements and urging for stricter international regulations.

  • Singapore will likely implement toolkits to identify misuses of AI and mitigate the resulting risks. The Singaporean government will very likely sponsor the use of AI Verify, sandboxing,[3] and AI-identifying software in public institutions and companies. Singapore will likely consult with stakeholders such as foreign Ministers of Technology, cybersecurity professionals, and social engineering experts to assess the risks brought by generative AI. It is almost certain that Singaporean universities will receive grants to research self-learning malware to advise the government on defensive measures.

Date: November 6, 2023

Location: South Korea

Parties involved: South Korea; Japan; USA; North Korea; North Korean government; North Korean Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs); North Korean proxy hacker groups; Chinese APTs; Russian APTs; Professional cryptocurrency traders; Western financial and military institutions

The event: South Korea announced the development of a high-level consultative body with Japan and the US to counter North Korean cyber threats. The group’s main goal is to strengthen the cyber capabilities of the three countries to counter global cyber threats, focusing on North Korean cyber-attacks and crypto heists. North Korea uses its emerging technologies and cyber capabilities to fund its weapons development, nuclear program, and military objectives.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The trilateral group will almost certainly attempt to limit North Korea´s cyber weapons capabilities by targeting cryptocurrency exchange. The trilateral group will likely monitor cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms to identify and limit North Korean income from cyber attacks, likely disrupting their revenue influx. There is a roughly even chance for South Korea, the US, and Japan to standardize policy and regulations on cryptocurrency access and exchanges, likely affecting third parties related to crypto trading in the PACOM region. Professional crypto traders will very likely reject additional regulations as they will likely temporarily affect their exchange platforms, while North Korean APTs will almost certainly develop measures to establish plausible deniability for suspicious transactions and circumvent new regulations.

  • The North Korean government will likely increase investments and research to counter the trilateral group efforts, likely targeting Western cyberinfrastructure with help from proxy hacker groups like Lazarus. The proxy hacker groups will likely cooperate to overwhelm the trilateral group’s cyber capabilities with ping floods and DDoS, and temporarily disable their systems using ransomware and data wipers. North Korea will very likely conduct cyber espionage to collect information on Western cyber capabilities, emerging technologies, and WMD advancements, likely relying on collaboration with Chinese and Russian APTs. North Korea will very likely use the information to target the trilateral group’s financial and military institutions.


[1] Robot from Wix images

[2] Countries developing 'frontier AI' need to work together for mutual security: PM Lee, Channel News Asia, November 2023,

[3] Sandboxing is a security mechanism that consist in isolating a code in a test environment to protect your operating system/network.

[4] US, Japan and South Korea Unite to Counter North Korean Cyber Activities, Infosecurity Magazine, November 2023,


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