Cyber Attack Finds More Targets

An ongoing cyber attack against South Korean and U.S. websites that started Tuesday spread to more targets Wednesday. From around 6 p.m. on, hackers caused server connection problems to Woori and Hana banks and the Industrial Bank of Korea, and even the National Intelligence Service's National Cyber Security Center, which controls the nationwide intelligence network, and AhnLab, the leading computer security firm.

An AhnLab staffer said the malicious code that is the source of the ongoing attack apparently has additional targets, and more may follow.

There are indications that North Korea is behind the attack. The NIS on Wednesday said it appears to have been launched not by individuals but by an organization or state given the planning and preparation required.

That suggests it was aimed at paralyzing the entire internet infrastructure of South Korea including finance, e-commerce and media, as well as undermining national security.

A government official said, "We haven't got the evidence yet, but we're investigating on the assumption that the cyber attack was launched by North Korea."

Very few individuals or ordinary organizations can launch such massive attacks simultaneously on major websites in South Korea such as Cheong Wa Dae and the Defense Ministry, as well as U.S. government websites.

The National Police Agency's cyber terrorism center Wednesday formed an investigative team of 24. Police seized a personal computer at a private home in Seoul which they say was used in the attack. Police said it carried a virus with a command to attack 26 websites in Korea and the U.S.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 09, 2009 09:39 KST