The South Korean military sounded a possible high-level cyber attack alert Wednesday after computer networks crashed at major broadcasters and banks, with initial suspicions focused on North Korea.
The Korea Internet Security Agency, a state watchdog, said computer networks at three TV broadcasters — KBS, MBC and YTN — as well as the Shinhan and Nonghyup banks, had been “partially or entirely crippled”.
“An investigation is under way. Right now we cannot say whether they were attacked by hackers,” an agency spokesman told AFP, adding that Internet service provider LG Uplus had also reported a network crash.
While there was no immediate confirmation of who or what was behind the multiple shutdown that occurred around 2:00 pm (0500 GMT), the main finger of suspicion is likely to point at Pyongyang.
Wednesday’s crash came days after North Korea accused South Korea and the United States of being behind a “persistent and intensive” hacking assault that took a number of its official websites offline for nearly two days.
The North was believed to be behind two major cyber attacks in 2009 and 2011 that targeted South Korean government agencies and financial institutions, causing their networks to crash.
The South Korean Defence Ministry said it had raised its five-level “Infocon” cyber threat alert status from four to three.
With military tensions on the Korean peninsula at their highest level for years following the North’s nuclear test last month, the Infocon level was only recently raised from five to four — with one being the top level.
“We do not rule out the possibility of North Korea being involved, but it’s premature to say so. It will take time to figure out,” Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said.
The presidential Blue House said the National Security Advisor had been briefed by police on Wednesday’s network paralysis and his office was investigating the possible causes.
According to intelligence officials cited by South Korean media, North Korea is believed to have a cyber warfare unit staffed by around 3,000 people handpicked for their computer literacy.
The Korea Internet Security Agency said it had recorded 40,000 cases of cyber attacks from foreign and domestic sources in 2012, up sharply from 24,000 in 2008
“South Korea is an IT superpower with good infrastructure but remains relatively vulnerable to hacking,” Park Soon-Tai, manager of the agency’s hacking response team, told AFP in a recent interview.
- 1Egyptian billionaire offers to buy Mediterranean island to house refugees
- 2Day of chaos hits Hungary as migrants march to Austria
- 3Father of Syrian boy washed up on Turkish beach recalls boat horror
- 4Aylan Kurdi: the boy whose picture broke the world’s heart
- 5Artist pays tribute to Aylan Kurdi and Good Samaritan
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 3Caught red-handed: the Russian Major fighting in Ukraine
- 4Video footage shows massive explosion in Tianjin, China
- 5Ukraine puts top Russian general Gerasimov on ‘most wanted’ list
- 6Why World Elephant Day matters
- 7Momentum for Mars: Astronauts say mission is inevitable
- 8Latest News Bulletin
- 9Who came out top in the US Republican television debate?
- 10UK: at least 7 dead after plane crashes into road in Brighton
- 11Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin
- 12Virginia:TV journalist and cameraman shot dead live on air
- 13ISIL militant group claims to have killed Croatian hostage in Egypt
- 14Earth Overshoot Day…Pushing Mother Nature too far
- 15Windows 10, three weeks on: the good, the bad and the ugly
- 16Bringing the trolls out of the dark: Russian ‘troll’ awarded 1 rouble damages
- 17As ‘Daily Show’ Jon Stewart’s tenure ends, scholars say goodbye to their research topic
- 18European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 19International news | euronews, latest international news
- 20Scientists find sinkhole cave under Mexico’s Kukulkan Castle Pyramid
Wires > News
- 01:50 CET Druze leader killed in car bomb in southern Syria – monitor
- 01:19 CET Saudi Arabia satisfied with Obama’s assurances on Iran deal
- 00:50 CET Pakistani nationals extradited to U.S. in narco-terrorism case
- 23:26 CET Saudi Arabia welcomes Iran nuclear deal after Obama meeting -…
- 22:26 CET Thousands rally in Beirut over politician’s presidential election…
- 21:32 CET North Korean karaoke stirs fear of mass propaganda sing-along in…
- 21:09 CET German U.N. official seen as favourite for Libya post – envoys
- 20:48 CET From Vietnam War to a Turkish beach, the shock of the photo endures