South Korea: North behind newspaper cyberattack last year

South Korea: North behind newspaper cyberattack last year

Summary: Country's Cyber Terror Response Center say last year's cyberattack on two South Korean news sites was traced to an overseas server used in previous cyberattacks by North Korea.


South Korean police are blaming North Korea for a cyberattack which paralyzed operations at a major newspaper last year.

According to an AFP report, South Korea's Cyber Terror Response Center said the North had hacked the news Web site and database of JoongAng Ilbo and its sister English paper, the Korea JoongAng Daily in June last year, and that the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications may have been involved.

During the attack, a picture of a white cat and the statement "Hacked by IsOne" was posted on the Web site's homepage. After the attack, both publications lost data connected with articles and photos after the attack.

The police say the IP address of an overseas server used in the hacking operation had been identical to that being used in previous cyberattacks by North Korea.

It had also come a week after North Korea threatened JoongAng and other South Korean media for their coverage of a mass children's event in Pyongyang, which they compared to a Nazi youth rally. North Korea's military had also listed the coordinates of these news outlets and said its missile units and other forces had already targeted their buildings.

The South Korean police had already suspected North Korea was behind this attack last year immediately after the attack. A police officer had told Chosun Ilbo new site they did not rule out the possibility of North Korean cyberterrorism.

This is not the first time South Korea has accused the North of cyberattacks, the AFP report noted. In July 2009 and March 2011, South Korea said the North staged cyberattacks on the Web sites of South Korean government agencies and financial institutions.


Topics: Security, Government Asia, Korea

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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  • LOL, The Clash of the Titans! Balloons of War

    as long as people keep the 'balloons' inflated we only need to wait for one to burst and splatter all sorts of misery wide and far. keep the borders (the skin of the balloon) intact, so all the gassy and ever concentrating ideas and 'special' people well isolated from one another so the differential political pressures can escalate to the point of KABOOOM! we have, in the USA some of the best secret keepers in the world, not by cause, but merely for effect, in a similar scenario as that waged by any of the Cold War foes we so desperately challenged many many 'moons' ago . not much has actually changed, as the pre-occupation with absolute 'right', VS them other folks as being absolutely 'wrong persists, but AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS, FOR the highest people and for use when they can create a mass of docile, poor, submissive, stupid, material oriented and ignorant humans willing to lose their own life for NO INTELLIGENT REASON. (except a huge wardrobe of course!)
    Nancy Smith