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Sources believe massive denial of service cyberattacks against the U.S. government and South Korea were masterminded by North Korea.  (Source:
Attack knocked out the Treasury Department, the Secret Service and other U.S. government agency sites

Experts had warned that the U.S. was poorly defended against and ill-prepared for a major cyber offensive.  It turns out they were right.

Attacks against U.S. government sites occurring on July 4 are just now being revealed to the public eye.  The attacks took down the Treasury Department, the Secret Service, Federal Trade Commission, and the Transportation Department websites over the weekend.  This week, outages have continued as the attackers show no signs of relenting.

South Korea has also been targeted.  The attacks on South Korea's government sites began on Tuesday.  The attacks affected South Korea's presidential Blue House and the Defense Ministry, and some banking sites, among others.

The U.S. government believes North Korean or pro-Pyongyang forces are responsible for the attacks.  They are refusing to officially discuss the attacks, but numerous sources have confirmed the attacks are severe and ongoing.  Speaking to a group of South Korean lawmakers, South Korea's National Intelligence Service stated Wednesday that it believes that North Korea or North Korean sympathizer in the south "were behind" the attacks.

In the U.S., the Homeland Security Department's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team is working with organizations to try to fight the attacks.  Spokeswoman Amy Kudwa states that it has "advised (the agencies) of steps to take to help mitigate against such attacks."

Using a denial of service approach -- killing websites by sending millions of requests to them, overloading the servers -- the attacks follow many previous ones.  The perpetrators of the attacks apparently used a computer virus, which infected many computers worldwide, to create a botnet.  This silent botnet was turned on over the weekend and began sending vast quantities of requests to the target sites.  The attacks have been much lengthier than a typical denial-of-service assault, much bolder, and more sophisticated.

The FTC site was down Sunday and Monday.  The Transportation Web site was "100 percent down" for two days, according to Ben Rushlo, director of Internet technologies at Keynote Systems a company that monitors web outages.

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Too much of a good thing turns bad?
By DOOA on 7/8/2009 3:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
I find it interesting no comments are made on the root pathway of these attacks. Have we become complacent about and accepting of remote administration? Perhaps we need to think about security and stop the script/autorun/remoteadmin/activedirectory support that some operating systems have.

Where I work we are coming up on a decade of no viruses, software that outlives hardware in stability, and little administration after initial setup. We run QNX here. Granted, we run very limited applications, but after all; we run a business and don't need much. Spreadsheets, databases, word processing. web browsing and a few custom applications are all we need. Our workers are expected to leave the general web surfing and games at home.

RE: Too much of a good thing turns bad?
By tmouse on 7/8/2009 3:49:48 PM , Rating: 3
Most bots are personal computers, the next is universities where people HAVE to keep getting bigger and bigger computers, even if they just use them to hold their 10 Gb outlook mail boxes. A lot of processing power + large net connections + Hugh drives + no security and old AV protection = disaster. So your point is totally moot.

RE: Too much of a good thing turns bad?
By KidneyBean on 7/8/2009 4:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
We need an economic stimulus package for our computer security. Free upgrades to Windows 7 and McAfee Internet Security for everyone! Hey they're Made in America!

Don't bother to read the rest of this bill.

Accepting this stimulus package means that Federal agents can access your computer at any time. You can not tell anyone your computer was accessed, even in a court of law.

By HoundRogerson on 7/12/2009 9:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
The Windows 7 beta is free, and will work until august i think. furthermore, mcafee sucks ass, so does norton for that matter (both of them did nothing but crash my old computer). AVG, and Avast haven't caused me any problems so far, so they might work well for you.

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