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Criticism Rises over Slow Response to Cyber Attacks

Posted July. 08, 2009 22:02,   


The attacks on the Web sites of 26 public organizations including the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae have raised fears over inadequate responses to the attacks by the government and communication service providers.

The Korea Communications Commission, in charge of information security for the private sector, issued an alarm six hours after the virus spread. It also failed to take efficient measures against the virus, leaving many government Web sites shut down until early yesterday.

The commission said it found that the distributed denial-of-service attacks hit at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday and cooperated with the Korea Internet Security Center, National Cyber Security Center and Korea Information Security Agency to analyze the hacking attempts.

Around 7 p.m., the virus caused trouble at several Web sites run by Cheong Wa Dae, the ruling Grand National Party, the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry, Naver and Shinhan Bank.

The commission declared a state of emergency at 9 p.m. Tuesday, but issued a warning at 1:30 p.m. yesterday. As computer users were not informed of the attack, more users were exposed to the virus when they turned on their infected computers.

A security expert said, “Had the government issued a warning shortly after it found the virus Tuesday, it could have minimized confusion yesterday.”

Communications service providers have also been criticized since they failed to warn computer users against using the Internet. One said, “We cannot unilaterally cut service even when users’ computers are contaminated. If we cut service with no information, we could have faced user complaints. We’re trying to minimize damage while providing patches for computer users.”