South Korea said 13 IP addresses have already been traced to North Korea

South Korea says a recent cyberattack against its banks and broadcast systems was launched by North Korea, further straining the relationship between the two.

On March 20, about 48,000 computers and servers in South Korea were shut down due to a cyberattack. The attack affected bank systems for about two to five days, and even prevented TV broadcasters from accessing news systems. Nine companies -- three broadcaster, four banks, and two insurance companies -- were attacked by infectious malware.

According to officials in Seoul, about six computers in North Korea were behind the attack. They said a military-run spy agency in North Korea had used over 1,000 IP addresses in 40 countries overseas to launch the attack, and about 13 of those addresses have already been traced to North Korea. 

While Seoul officials are still investigating the matter, they firmly believe that North Korea's role in the attack will only become more apparent as the investigation rolls on.

North Korea hasn't been able to stay out of trouble lately. For instance, the country has been conducting nuclear tests over the years, which the UN has frowned on. The first North Korean nuclear test in 2006 was under 1 kiloton and the second in 2009 was about 2-7 kilotons. The third, which occurred this past February, measured "approximately several kilotons."

North Korea's foreign minister even threatened to nuke the U.S. last month amid tensions between the countries. 

China, growing tired of North Korea's behavior as well, imposed harsh sanctions on the country in an attempt to prevent further nuclear actions. Under the new sanctions, China and others who trade with North Korea can no longer define what a luxury item is -- meaning that many items such as yachts, luxury automobiles, and certain jewelry are now banned.

However, this doesn't appear to be helping, since North Korea has decided to restart an old nuclear reactor for both electricity and military purposes. The 5MW nuclear reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear plant is aged (from the Soviet era) and has been closed since 2007. It shut down due to one of its cooling towers blowing up.

According to North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, this isn't necessarily an effort to create a confrontation with the United States. Rather, the nuclear weapons would serve as a deterrent to ensure North Korea's safety. 

Source: Yahoo News

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