Saturday, March 05, 2011

South Korean government and financial websites under cyber attack

The websites of South Korea's key government agencies and financial institutions came under cyber attack for a second day Saturday, with few leads on who might be behind the attacks.

The sites of the U.S. forces in Korea and the department of unification, which handles relations with North Korea, were among those targeted by the "distributed denial-of-service" (DDoS) attacks.

On Friday sites including the presidential Blue House, the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, the ministries of foreign affairs and defense and the tax office, came under DDos attacks. The Korea and Communications Commission (KCC) said the attacks resumed Saturday morning against 29 websites including those of government agencies and banks.

In 2009, government websites in South Korea and the U.S. were paralyzed by a similar type of attack that South Korean officials blamed on North Korea. But U.S. officials have largely ruled out North Korea as the origin of these attacks, according to cyber security experts.

South Korean police have isolated 30 overseas servers that were ordering more than 34,000 "zombie computers" to carry out DDoS attacks. The servers had been traced to 18 countries and territories around the world, including the United States, Russia, Italy, Mexico, Israel and Hong Kong.

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