NKorea Launches Cyberattack On SKorea - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NKorea Launches Cyberattack On SKorea

WASHINGTONPOST.COM - After nearly half of the servers for a South Korean bank crashed one day in April, investigators found evidence indicating that they were dealing with a new kind of attack from an old rival: North Korea.

South Korean officials said that 30 million customers of the Nonghyup agricultural bank were unable to use ATMs or online services for several days and that key data were destroyed, making it the most serious of a series of incidents in recent months. But even more troubling was the prospect that a belligerent neighbor had acquired the tools to disrupt one of the world's most heavily wired nations — and that even more damaging attacks could be in store.

"This was an unprecedented act of cyberterror involving North Korea," said Kim Young-dae, a senior South Korean prosecutor in charge of the investigation.

Conclusively identifying who ordered a cyberattack is notoriously difficult. But Western analysts who studied the incident agreed that the aggressor was probably North Korea and described it as the first publicly reported case of computer sabotage by one nation against a financial institution in another country.

Cyberwarfare offers high potential for asymmetric threats, providing poor nations with easy opportunities to inflict damage on a richer, more developed rival. Such an attack is relatively cheap to launch, but playing defense is costly: After the incident, the South Korean bank pledged to spend $476 million by 2015 on network security.

"They are doing massive damage with simple means," said Georg Wicherski, a researcher with U.S.-based McAfee Labs, who analyzed the attack. "This is Cyber­warfare 101." >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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