Web attackers used IP address in 16 nations

Last Updated : 10 July 2009, 16:30 IST
Last Updated : 10 July 2009, 16:30 IST

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Cyber attacks that caused a wave of website outages in the US and South Korea used 86 IP addresses in 16 countries, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers on Friday, amid suspicions North Korea was behind the effort.

The countries include South Korea, the United States, Japan and Guatemala, Chung Chin-sup, a member of the parliamentary intelligence committee, told reporters. He spoke after being briefed by the National Intelligence Service, or NIS, on preliminary investigations of the IP addresses — the Internet equivalent of a street address or phone number.

The assaults on websites in the US and South Korea have been described as so-called denial of service attacks in which floods of computers try to connect to a single site at the same time, overwhelming the server.

The NIS also briefed lawmakers on circumstantial and technical reasons for believing that North Korea could be behind the attacks, Chung said without elaborating.

But the spy agency cautioned it was too early to conclude that North Korea was responsible as the investigations were still under way, according to Park Young-sun, another member of the intelligence committee.

“So far, North Korea was not included among the 16 countries’ IP addresses,” she said.
US authorities also eyed North Korea as the origin of the trouble, though they warned it would be difficult to identify the attackers quickly.

Three US officials said this week while Internet addresses have been traced to North Korea, that does not necessarily mean the attack involved Kim Jong Il’s government in Pyongyang.

It follows a turbulent few months in which secretive North Korea has engaged in a series of threats and provocative actions widely condemned by the international community, including a nuclear test and missile launches.

No response from North
North Korea has not responded to the allegations of its involvement in the website outages.

On Thursday, seven South Korean websites — one belonging to the government and the others to private entities — were attacked in the third round of cyber assaults.

Published 10 July 2009, 16:30 IST

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