Attacks on South Korean Internet Sites Resume for Third Day

Here the latest news about cyber attack in South Korean.

South Korean Internet sites came under attack from hackers for a third day as the government boosted security to counter intrusions that paralyzed some U.S. services yesterday.

The Web sites of Kookmin Bank and Daum Communications Corp. were being targeted in a new wave of attacks that resumed at 6 p.m. today in Seoul, computer security company Ahnlab Inc. said. The two Web sites were still offline as of 7:30 p.m.

The “highly organized” attacks may come from a state, the National Intelligence Service, or NIS, said today in a statement without naming a country. There is “speculation” North Korea orchestrated the barrage, Kwon Tae Shin, South Korea’s minister for policy coordination, said at a meeting of vice-ministers today in Seoul.

The attacks could be the most serious in South Korea since January 2003, when the “Slammer” worm slowed networks and crippled service, Ahnlab spokeswoman Hwang Mi Kyung said earlier.

South Korea’s NIS and Defense Ministry have previously accused Kim Jong Il’s regime of training a “cyber division” within the North Korean army. So far South Korea has never provided evidence to show the communist nation has hacked South Korean Web sites or disseminated viruses.

‘Cannot Rule Out’

“Of course we cannot rule out the possibility that North Korea is behind these attacks but it’s too early to draw conclusions from what we know so far,” Choi Hee Weon, a senior researcher at Korea Information Security Agency said of this week’s assaults. “It will take time to trace the origin of the attacks.”

South Korea’s Defense Ministry plans to spend 489 billion won ($382 million) next year to beef up its defense against cyber warfare, the ministry said in a budget report today.

The malicious script behind this week’s trouble works by commandeering remote computers and turning them into “zombies” that flood targeted Web sites with a large volume of data. The attacks may target seven organizations, including the Web site of South Korea’s Ministry of Public Administration and Security, Ahnlab said earlier today in an e-mailed statement. Korean- language Web portals known as Naver and Paran are also targeted.

“The level of the attacks were highly organized and meticulously planned, indicating a level of certain organizations or state,” the NIS said.

The U.S. departments of State, Treasury and Transportation were attacked by unidentified hackers during the July 4 holiday weekend, the same day North Korea test-fired seven missiles. In some cases the cyber attacks were continuing, the agencies said yesterday.

Escalating Provocation

If North Korea is behind the attacks it would mark an escalation of provocations against the U.S. and South Korea, Bruce Klingner, a Northeast Asia analyst at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, said in a statement. Still, there is no “hard evidence” linking North Korea to the attacks, he said.

North and South Korea have been technically at war for more than half a century since their 1950-53 conflict ended without a peace agreement. The two nations exchanged military threats since the North testing a nuclear weapon on May 25, prompting United Nation’s sanctions.

Web sites of some government agencies and banks in South Korea were also attacked yesterday, following similar strikes on 26 sites on July 7, the Korea Information Security Agency said in a statement today.

Seven South Korean banks’ Web sites were paralyzed in the July 7 attacks, but have fully resumed operations, the nation’s regulator Financial Services Commission said today. The lenders suffered no losses from the attacks, it said, without naming them.

From : Bloomberg

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