A small, sophisticated international hacking group was responsible for a widely publicised 2011 spying attack on members of Japan's parliament as well as dozens of previously undisclosed breaches at government agencies and strategic companies in Japan and South Korea, security researchers said.
Researchers at Kaspersky Lab believe they have found a squad of hackers for hire, who contract out to governments and possibly businesses, in contrast to recent reports on hacks said to be carried out by full-time government employees.
South Korean prosecutors said it is investigating an information technology company over allegations it helped North Korean hackers attack the country's computer networks.
According to The Korea Times on Wednesday, the Seoul Supreme Prosecutors' Office said its officials and agents of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) on Tuesday raided the firm's office and the house of its president known as Kim. The firm's name was not revealed, though.
A mysterious group of computer hackers has spent four years spying on the South Korea military, US security software maker McAfee has said, citing evidence uncovered from malicious software samples.
The findings, which were not confirmed by authorities in Seoul, provide one possible motive for ongoing attacks on South Korea that date to 2009.
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.