New cyberattacks hit South Korea

Cyber warfare may have reached a new level with Stuxnet, which seems to have been singularly designed to damage Iran’s nuclear program, but that doesn’t seem to mean more brute-force efforts have gone the way of the dinosaur. Nearly 40 organizations in South Korea have been hit by denial-of-service attacks designed to take the sites offline or at least reduce their accessibility, and while no one has claimed responsibility, similar cyberattacks in 2009 were blamed on North Korea.

According to South Korean security firm Ahnlab, the attacks targeted South Korean banks and financial regulators, as well as military facilities and facilities controlled by U.S. forces in South Korea and the presidential office. Although the an online trading system was shut down briefly under the force of the attack, a spokesperson from the office of the South Korean president indicated no damage was done.

The DDoS software appears to be running on a network of some 11,000 personal computers infected by malware and utilized in the attack. Reports have the vector for the DDoS malware being distributed on two peer-to-peer networking sites. Ahnlab is distributing a free removal tool.

Ahnlab, which first reported the attacks, says they bear a resemblance to the 2009 DDoS attacks that hit South Korean government Web sites inf July 2009.

The 2009 attacks have never been definitively pinned on North Korea.

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