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South Korea cyber-attacked

South Korea cyber-attacked

South Korea's National Cyber Security Centre reported signs of a large DDoS attack on Thursday.

The Guardian reports that ‘hackers have attacked about 40 South Korean government and private websites,’ with victims as wide-ranging as the president’s office to the US military.

According to the site, the South Korean National Cyber Security Centre said it had seen signs of a denial of service attack on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, a statement from AhnLab – a South Korean cyber security company – said that targets included websites belonging to ‘South Korea’s presidential office, the foreign ministry, the national intelligence service and US Forces Korea and major financial institutions.’ However, the Korean Communication Commission said that ‘no immediate damage had been done.

According to The BBC, AhnLab claims that attackers ‘injected malware into two peer-to-peer file-sharing websites,’ resulting in up to 11,000 PCs being taken over and used in the attack.

At this point, no-one seems to know where the attack originated – previous attacks have been traced to China, but whether that’s just because Chinese PCs had been taken over or whether the DDoS malware was written there is unclear. However, the BBC says that the two file-sharing websites that were originally infected can expect a visit from South Korea’s cyber investigation unit.

According to the BBC, previous attacks in 2009 were ‘initially blamed on North Korea, but experts later said they had no conclusive evidence that Pyongyang was responsible.’ This is despite claims in the South Korean media that North Korea has an internet warfare unit that’s working to undermine the US and South Korean governments and militaries. The US collaborates in patrolling the de-militarised zone (DMZ) along the border of North and South Korea.

We’ve yet to see the true consequences of this cyber attack, so it's not yet known whether this is actually a concerted effort to shake up the uneasy truce between North and South Korea.

As always, let us know your thoughts in the forums.

13 Comments

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paisa666 4th March 2011, 15:44 Quote
Clearly showing the next step in military intelligence, honestly nothing surprising if we take into account that this is the obvious path that military technology would follow.

what does worries me its if countries not so advance like mine are ready for situations like this one "South Korea Cyber investigation Unit". highly doubt we have such a unit :(
morkfromork 4th March 2011, 16:42 Quote
Cripple a countries internet and you most probably cripple there efectiveness to defend it's self. Very worrying if you think of what could happen if an country is not able to stop or detect an attack.
Grape Flavor 4th March 2011, 16:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by paisa666
Clearly showing the next step in military intelligence, honestly nothing surprising if we take into account that this is the obvious path that military technology would follow.

what does worries me its if countries not so advance like mine are ready for situations like this one "South Korea Cyber investigation Unit". highly doubt we have such a unit :(

Yeah, it's a whole new area of warfare. Land, air, sea, and now cyberspace. China seems to have been the first to realize this.

So you're from Colombia, cool. Yeah, I hope your country is ready, I wouldn't doubt for a minute that Chavez would pull an attack like this on you guys if he felt like it :(.
earlydoors 4th March 2011, 16:52 Quote
Ch33sefiend 4th March 2011, 18:00 Quote
Strange: Wordpress announced earlier today that they were the victim of a ddos attack as well.
frontline 4th March 2011, 18:50 Quote
Quote:
North Korea has an internet warfare unit

They've clanned up and are playing Crysis online against US kids? Team [KiM]Korea (the real one)
Javerh 4th March 2011, 20:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by morkfromork
Cripple a countries internet and you most probably cripple there efectiveness to defend it's self. Very worrying if you think of what could happen if an country is not able to stop or detect an attack.

No reasonable army uses the internet for anything vital. Army data links are done using fiber optics, twisted pairs and microwave arrays. Each connection is secured by using a network with secondary and tertiary connections. If you break a cable connection you must be physically present and it is easy to detect. Even electronic warfare against microwave links is harder than you would believe if the operators are trained well enough.

This kind of attack is mostly aimed at the general public:

1) Cripple their net, cripple their ability to function
2) ???
3) Profit!

Most likely long-term net blockout would deter the will to defend the country. Not the ability to do so.
mpr 5th March 2011, 07:20 Quote
You guys realise that most countries have a separate internet for the super important stuff yeah? Sure there's still going to be some effect in day to day buisiness if certain systems are stopped or altered, but the most important flows of information would most likely only be stopped by a mass EMP of some sort.... and even then I assume that there are shielded com bunkers all over the world.
bnr123 5th March 2011, 09:25 Quote
The military/Whitehall definately have a seperate network incase of such attacks. However the likes of gas/water/electricity companys will probably be affected just like Irans nuclear program was. Having none of these will sure cause panic on a national scale.
Instagib 5th March 2011, 09:45 Quote
How feasible would it be to simply cutting a country off from the net? Particularly troublesome ones like Nigeria and North Korea? I suppose that then does raise the problem of who has the right to pull the plug on said countries.
Phil Rhodes 5th March 2011, 09:57 Quote
Quote:
Cripple a countries internet and you most probably cripple there efectiveness to defend it's self. Very worrying if you think of what could happen if an country is not able to stop or detect an attack.

I was a bit alarmed recently when I saw a TV documentary that showed a Royal Navy officer using the wi-fi in McDonald's to check the position of a hurricane after the ship's satellite link went down. Do we assume that the operation of one of Queen Lizzie's destroyers is dependent on an uninterrupted internet feed?
Javerh 5th March 2011, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnr123
The military/Whitehall definately have a seperate network incase of such attacks. However the likes of gas/water/electricity companys will probably be affected just like Irans nuclear program was. Having none of these will sure cause panic on a national scale.

Iran's nuclear program was a custom trojan planted on the plc programmer's laptops. It only affected the programs made on those pc's and uploaded onto a Siemens S7 programmable logic controller. Nothing so far has mentioned that the trojan came through Internet. Most likely it was planted manually. Vital operations like gas/water/electricity will most likely be physically separated from the Internet. Physically planting a virus/trojan is a lot like planting a bomb. I would classify that kind of trojan as normal sabotage. It's not that hard to protect systems from sabotage if you're willing to pay enough.
PingCrosby 7th March 2011, 08:01 Quote
The butler did it.
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