South Korea: North behind newspaper cyberattack last year

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.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

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.


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