On May 3rd, Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office’s of High Tech Investigations Department reported that North Korea was behind the recent crashing of the Nonghyub bank’s servers. They said that the pattern of attacks on the Nonghyub servers was similar to that of cyber attacks on July 7th, 2009, and March 4th, 2011, previously clarifed to originate from the North.
The Denial of Service(DDoS) attacks which occurred on March 4th, crippling 40 government run and major private websites. Nonghyub attack was confirmed the second incident of major North Korean cyber terrorism this year.
Last month NKSIS illustrated how North Korea’s cyber terror technological knowhow and manpower could be used to launch an attack on a domestic bank. A high level source in the North said at the time, “North Korea’s technological capabilities are greater than is generally thought. They could launch an attack on a South Korean bank or mobile carriers at will.”
“North Korean hackers would not only infiltrate a South Korean bank’s server to extract funds. They also have been launching test runs of their own capabilities to ensure that they can undertake such activities whenever they want,” the source said. South Korean Prosecutors’ Office confirmed that Nohyub attack was also one of the kind, where they just test ran their capabilities.
The source also raised the possibility that “North Korean hackers and domestic bank workers could collude to launch this kind of attack. It is known,” he said citing a precedent, “that North Korean hackers, their intermediaries, and a group in the South got together to steal over three thousand million won(ROK) from certain individuals.” According to this, the likelihood that similar arrangements will be used to disrupt South Korean internet systems cannot be excluded.
Netizens responded to the news angrily. “Politicians use this kind of thing for their own electoral purposes,” criticized one, as they also cast doubt on the capacity of the South’s anti-cyber terror capabilities.
Our source previously said, “Ultimately, concluding that this attack on the Nonghyub bank was a North Korean act is complicated. But it is well known that North Korea has the capabilities to launch such an attack. We have conclusive grounds for knowing that it is possible.” The South’s Prosecutors’ Office also have concluded, North Korea indeed was the origin of attack, having found out the similar method, pattern, even mistakes traced in the process.
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