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‘Cyber Attack’s Goal Is to Freeze Finance, Media’

Posted July. 10, 2009 07:35,   


Another distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack was launched on the Public Administration and Security Ministry’s Web site yesterday, the third day of a cyber terrorist attack on the country’s IT infrastructure.

Chances for additional attacks are high since they have been carefully orchestrated daily while the targets have changed. Security experts warn that the attacks could be a prelude to more cyber terrorism and lead to disaster in cyberspace.

DDoS attacks yesterday hit the ministry’s electronic government page and the Web page of Kookmin Bank, the e-mail servers of the Web portals Naver and Daum, and the homepages of Auction.co.kr and Chosun.com around 6 p.m. In several regions, access to those sites were denied or slowed.

Considering the two previous attacks, the latest incident is expected to continue through 6 p.m. today. The first attack hit 26 Web sites and began around 6 p.m. Tuesday, lasting for 24 hours, while the second one also lasted for 24 hours and began around 6 p.m. but struck 16 sites.

Chosun.com, Naver e-mail and Auction.co.kr have been attacked since the first round. Kookmin and the e-mail pages of Paran and Daum, and the ministry’s electronic government are on the list of additional targets in the second round.

As the three DDoS attacks were carefully orchestrated, more say the attacks constitute cyber terrorism scrupulously organized from the planning phase. In online communities including bulletins for security experts such as former hackers, a string of comments have been posted, with one reading, “The attacks are a prelude to the freezing of media and financial systems.”

One expert said, “The attack could seek to conceal possible attacks on other major systems,” adding, “The threat attracted massive attention instantly, but little real damage was done.”

Amid the online threat, the Korea Communications Commission asked Internet service providers to selectively block access from “zombie” PCs mobilized for the attacks.