"This is not a simple attack by individuals. The attack appeared to have been elaborately prepared and staged by a certain organisation or state," South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) said in a statement without elaborating.
The statement added that the NIS and US authorities were cooperating to track down those responsible for hijacking 12,000 personal computers in South Korea and 8,000 abroad which were exploited as vehicles for the attacks.
The security agency said 25 US and South Korean sites were hit Tuesday evening and the domestic sites were shut down for nearly four hours.
In the United States, 14 major Web sites — including those of the White House, the State Department, Secret Service, Federal Trade Commission and Transportation Department and the New York Stock Exchange — came under similar attacks, according to anti-cyber terrorism police officers in Seoul, who suspected a link between the two waves of attacks. The attacks started on July 4.
In South Korea, the presidential Blue House, the Defense Ministry, the National Assembly, Shinhan Bank, the mass-circulation daily newspaper Chosun and the top Internet portal Naver.com appear to have been hit among others.
Hwang Cheol-jeung, a senior official at the government’s Korea Communications Commission, said the attacks were launched by zombie computers infected by a well-known "distributed denial of service," or DDoS, hackers’ program. About 18,000 computers are believed infected in South Korea.
"The infected computers are still attacking and their number is not decreasing," Hwang told reporters in a briefing. The government was urging users to upgrade their computers’ antivirus software to fight the virus.
Yonhap news agency said the NIS had told members of parliament's intelligence committee that the communist North or its sympathisers may have instigated the cyber attack, which caused some sites to crash.
"The NIS has been telling committee members that North Korea or a pro-North Korean force might be behind the cyber terror," it quoted one legislator as saying.
|Your name: *|
|Your email: *|
|Recepient's email: *|
|Enter code: *|