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July 10, 2009

American, South Korean websites hit by cyber-attacks

Preventative measures are in place to deal with renewed bouts of attacks

By CBR Staff Writer

Widespread cyber-attacks targetted 27 American and South Korean government and commercial web sites. Under attack, most of the sites became non-functional for the time being. Repeated attacks jammed South Korean sites a day before. 

The wave of attacks paralysed a number of major South Korean sites. The US websites of the Treasury Department, Federal Trade Commission and Transportation Department were all affected during the attack, the Associated Press reported citing American officials. Reportedly, the NYSE website also came under attack, so were the cases with Nasdaq, Yahoo finance and the Washington Post sites.

South Korea and the US reported similar attacks earlier in the week too. The majority of the problems were caused by the ‘denial-of-service attacks’ – a manoeuvre that overburdens networks with uncountable requests, resulting in shutting down the sites.

Shin Hwa-soo, an official from the state-run Korea Communications Commission, said: “An aggressive distribution of vaccine programmes against the attack has helped fight back. But we are not keeping our guard down. We are distributing the vaccine programmes as widely as possible and monitoring the situations closely because there might be a new attack.”

Cyber experts refer to North Korean involvement into it. Yonhap, a news agency, has reported that a South Korean spy agency has implied the same.

Analysts opined that the effort to find the culprits would be an uphill task and that there is just a 10% chance of success. However, the US and South Korean officials informed reporters that most sites are up and running again.

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