'Massive' attack on LG Uplus sparks N. Korea reprisal fears

An online attack by a group called "Whois Team" downed servers belonging to three South Korean TV broadcasters and two banks, and police are still investigating the incident amid speculation North Korea may be involved.

South Korea's police are currently investigating a hack attack on Internet service provider LG Uplus, which led to server outages at three domestic broadcasters and two major banks.

As a result, the army raised its alert status amid concerns the attacks were initiated by its neighbors from the North. 

Reuters reported Wednesday that authorities were looking into the attack on LG Uplus, which was suspected to be conducted by a group calling itself the "Whois Team". It featured three skulls and a warning saying this was the beginning of "Our Movement" on a network page, it stated.

The investigations were triggered by disrupted servers at television networks YTN, MBC and KBS. Customers at Shinhan Bank reportedly faced problems logging in to their online accounts too, while NongHyup Bank's servers were also affected.

"We sent down teams to all affected sites. We are now assessing the situation. This incident is pretty massive and will take a few days to collect evidence," a police official said in the report.

Both the police and government officials declined to discuss whether the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was behind the attacks, though. The neighboring state threatened to attack both South Korea and the United States for their roles in triggering the United Nations sactions following its February nuclear testing, the report added.

Just last week, South Korea announced it stepped up cyberspace surveillance in preparation of a possible attack from North Korea. It issued its fourth-highest level of alert and had been conducting 24-hour monitoring of state telecommunications network.

South Korean prime minister Chung Hong-won also visted the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) this month to encourage preparation for potential cyberattacks.

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