The South Korean government last night issued a new cyber security warning due to several of its government agencies suffering hacker attacks that disabled several computer networks and web sites.
South Korea saw its presidential office web site, National Assembly, and Defense Ministry sites and networks hit with an unusually high number of access requests, which led to the sites being temporarily crippled.
"The attacks consisted of massive distributed denial of service (DDos) attacks to specific sites causing access slowdown or disablement, and some national institutions, banks and media sites have been targeted," the South Korea Communications Commission said in a public statement.
The government now has given the task of investigating these cyber attacks to the Cyber Terror Response Center, which is frantically trying to figure out where the attacks against around 25 domestic web sites originated. Service was eliminated for about four hours total before being brought back online.
Although South Korean authorities are unsure who is behind the attack, there is a growing concern of organized hacking rings in China and Eastern Europe. The Chinese government routinely denies its involvement in cyber attacks, but it appears there are a growing number of government-led attacks against western infrastructure.
Around 14 websites in the United States suffered similar attacks, including the New York Stock Exchange, State Department and White House, although it's unknown if the attacks actually disabled the websites. Over the July 4 weekend, the Secret Service, Treasury Department, Federal Trade Commission, and several other government web sites were crippled at various points.
South Korea has about 95 percent of homes in the country with internet connection, making it one of the most wired nations in the world, so it's possible the attacks came from within the country. Initial reports indicate the attacks originated from China, but South Korean officials denied the reports, saying the investigation has just started.