Several of South Korea"s biggest websites and organisations have been victims of a huge cyber attack, taking down many of them, and leaving others with access issues. The attack also targeted several American organisations some of which included the Pentagon and White House, according to an article by The Independent. Many suspect that the attacks were started by North Korean hackers claiming that the latest missile launches may be related to the attacks. Others, however, have said that it is too early to tell where the attack originated from.
The denial of service attack affected South Korea most severely, targeting several banks, the South Korean spy agency, and several other government departments and agencies, one of which was the defence ministry. While the White House, Pentagon, and New York Stock Exchange were also targeted, most of the government targets successfully fought off the attacks with only a handful being taken offline.
Although there is currently no evidence the South Korean National Intelligence Service, the spy agency in South Korea, believes that North Korea was behind the attack. However, whether it was government agencies, independent hackers, or even North Korea at all, is still unknown.
South Korea is currently facing a third wave of attacks, according to an article by the BBC. Many of the computers involved in the attacks were found to be located in South Korea leading some to believe that the attack may have been carried out by North Korean sympathisers who live in the south of Korea.
Locating the source of a denial of service attack is usually a long and difficult task as attacks like these are nearly always carried out by infected computers, which often don"t belong to the attacker, but are rogue units. Targets of the attacks are bombarded with requests from bots, bringing their hardware to a halt. As there is usually no single attacker, it is difficult to trace where the attack originated from.
South Korea has announced that it will hurry the development of its cyber warfare unit as a response to the latest attacks.