"We have an Interest in Hacking. Unfortunately, We have deleted Your Data."
South Korean computers are crashing left, right, and center, according to reports this morning. An unknown hacking group, Whois Team, claims responsibility. Naturally, everyone's talking about another cyber-attack from communist North Korea.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ponder cyber-terror and/or a false-flag operation.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Aunty Beeb speaks peace unto... oh, wait:
[Three] broadcasters...told police their networks were halted around [1am Eastern]. Two banks...said their networks were affected. ... The networks had been "partially or entirely crippled", [said] the Korean Internet Security Agency (KISA).
...Staff at the three broadcasters said their computers crashed and could not be restarted. ... There are reports of skulls popping up on some computer screens. ... Some banking services...including internet banking and ATMs, were also affected. ... "We do not rule out the possibility of North Korea being involved, but it's premature to say so," Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. ... The military has upgraded its information surveillance status by one level. ... North Korea is believed to have been behind two major cyber-attacks on the South, in 2009 and 2011. MORE
On the ground, Se Young Lee adds:
"We sent down teams to all affected sites. ... This incident is pretty massive,"...a police official said. ... North Korea...has hacker schools just like its ally China does.
...The biggest hacking effort attributed to Pyongyang was a 10-day denial of service attack in 2011 that antivirus firm McAfee...dubbed "Ten Days of Rain" [saying it] was a bid to probe the South's computer defenses in the event of a real conflict. ... North Korea last week complained that its own websites had been hacked, blaming the United States. MORE
Here's Professor Park Choon Sik, channelled via Sangwon Yoon:
It’s hard to find who did it immediately but North Korea is the usual suspect. ... Cyber attacks are much easier weapons for North Korea as they cost far less than missiles...but they can send more people into a real panic. ... South Korea is extremely vulnerable to cyber terrorism as everything from banking to shopping is done through the Internet. ...and the next target can be infrastructure, such as power, communication and transportation. MORE
But North Korea? Seriously??? Yes, as Dark Owl schools us:
Although we may think of the North as those wacky people who put on crazy militant displays and threaten nuclear warfare whilst a large part of the populace starves...they have people more than capable of carrying out this kind of cyber warfare. MORE
Meanwhile, Kevin Kwang hints at who might be responsible:
[It] 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".
...Just last week, South Korea announced it stepped up cyberspace surveillance in preparation of a possible attack. ... It issued its fourth-highest level of alert and had been conducting 24-hour monitoring. ... South Korean prime minister Chung Hong-won also visted...KISA this month to encourage preparation for potential cyberattacks. MORE
Which leads Your Humble Blogwatcher to theorize about possible conspiracies:
Hmmm, South Korea warns that its enemy is planning a cyberattack, complete with colorful alert levels and politicians' photo-opportunities.
...Should we believe that's a reasonable response to intelligence-gathering, or is it too tin-foil-hatty to suggest this is a false-flag operation? MORE
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