North Korea behind cyber attack on S.Korea bank - prosecutors

SEOUL Tue May 3, 2011 3:56pm IST

Related Topics

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean computer hackers were responsible for bringing down the network of a South Korean bank last month, prosecutors in Seoul said on Tuesday, in the latest of a string of cyber attacks thought to have originated from the secretive state.

Kim Young-dae, a senior prosecutor from the Seoul Central Prosecutors' Office, said an "unprecedented act of cyber terror" by a North Korean group caused the network breakdown of South Korea's agricultural banking cooperative Nonghyup.

The crash of Nonghyup's computer system affected millions of customers who were unable to use the bank's credit cards and ATMs for more than a week.

Prosecutors said the April 12 attack was "meticulously prepared and executed" by the same group that carried out cyber attacks on key South Korean government and business websites in 2009 and March this year.

One of the internet protocol addresses used to break into the Nonghyup network was the same as one used two months ago for the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that originated from North Korea, the prosecution said. It said in a statement that the attack was a new type of cyber terrorism that targeted a private firm in an effort to destroy the financial system which is "the backbone of (the South's) capitalist society".

North Korea was also blamed for disrupting GPS signals in the South in March, possibly in an attempt to disrupt joint military drills by South Korean and U.S. forces.

A South Korean defence white paper released earlier this year said cyber threats were becoming increasingly intelligent and virulent.

The two Koreas are still technically at war, having only signed a truce to end the 1950-53 Korean War, and tensions spiked sharply last year following two deadly attacks on the peninsula in which 50 South Koreans were killed.

(Reporting by Jeremy Laurence, editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

UKRAINE CRISIS

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Pope presides at Vatican Mass leading Catholics into Easter.  Full Article 

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Prosecutors extend Korea ferry captain's detention as death toll mounts.  Full Article 

Journalists Return

Journalists Return

Joyful homecoming for 4 French journalists after Syria captivity.  Full Article 

S. Africa Elections

S. Africa Elections

South Africa's ANC set for two-thirds majority - poll.  Full Article 

Everest Tragedy

Everest Tragedy

Death toll climbs in worst tragedy on Everest  Full Article 

Missing Plane

Missing Plane

Current underwater search for Malaysia plane could end within a week  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Putin welcomes new NATO head, says better ties with West possible  Full Article 

Japan Military

Japan Military

Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage