North Korea suspected of cyber assault

CyberWar

North Korea could be in the midst of waging the first ever cyber war.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) of South Korea reported that it’s possible that North Korea was responsible for orchestrating a series of cyber attacks against South Korea and the United States that began on July 4.  South Korean Media also quoted a parliament member who said, “North Korea or pro-North elements” were behind the attacks.

Twenty-six U.S. and South Korean Web sites were attacked by “malicious programs,” according to the NIS.  The Associated Press reported that some U.S. targets included the White House, the Pentagon, the New York Stock Exchange, the Homeland Security Department, the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Transportation Department, the Secret Service, the Federal Trade Commission and The Washington Post.  The Associated Press acquired this list from “security experts analyzing the situation.”

The attacks were what are known as “denial of service attacks,” in which an unusually high number of computers simultaneously try to connect to a single Web site, which can overwhelm the servers monitoring traffic and shut the Web site down.  Some government agencies reported problems well into Tuesday.

If such allegations against North Korea are true, it would be world’s first case of cyber warfare on a statewide level.

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