Part of the mystery shrouding the cyberattacks on South Korea has been lifted. Online security firm Symantec revealed on Wednesday that one single group — codenamed the DarkSeoul Gang — is responsible for four years of cyberattacks against the country.
The cyberattacks have been persistent over the past few years, with the country's authorities blaming its neighbors and enemies from North Korea. The most recent of the many attacks came on Tuesday, but perhaps the most massive one hit South Korean banks and TVs in March, wiping off multiple hard drives.
Major government and media websites in South and North Korea were shut down for hours Tuesday on the 63rd anniversary of the start of the Korean War. Seoul said its sites were hacked, while it was unclear what knocked out those north of the border.
Seoul said experts were investigating attacks on the websites of the South Korean presidential Blue House and prime minister's office, as well as some media servers. There were no initial reports Tuesday that sensitive military or other key infrastructure had been compromised.
The Japanese government's data protection policies have been called into question after it emerged that a decommissioned coast guard vessel was sold to a pro-North Korea organisation without any checks as to whether key data on board was first deleted.
The 106-ton Japan Coast Guard patrol boat Takachiho was taken out of service in 2011 and sold to a ship breaker run by a senior figure from the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.
The malware that paralyzed the internal computer network at agricultural lender Nonghyup during a massive cyber attack on banks and broadcasters here last Wednesday has been traced to one of its own IP addresses, not a Chinese IP address as originally believed.
But that does not necessarily mean the attack was launched by a South Korean hacker because the Nonghyup IP address is believed to be that of an intermediate router rather than the original source of the cyber-attack.
The website of a U.S. group focused on human rights in North Korea was hacked at the same time as a cyberattack on South Korean targets on Wednesday.
Only the website was affected and 'Hitman 007-Kingdom of Morocco' was superimposed on a photo of a political prison camp in North Korea, usually posted on the website, said Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) in Washington, D.C.