Investigations have concluded that the damaging attacks originated in the North, which has yet to make any comment.
Official websites in South and North Korea have been hit by apparently coordinated attacks on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War.The affected websites included those belonging to the South’s presidential Blue House and a number of the North’s state-run media groups.
Seoul raised its five-stage national cyber alert from level one to two in the morning and then to three after the scope of the attack became clear.Park Jae-Moon, director of the Science Ministry’s IT Strategy Bureau, said 11 media outlets, four government agencies and a political party had been shut down.
“It’s like an endless fight between spears and shields,” the director told reporters, adding that it was too early to say who was responsible.
Some sites were operating normally again in a matter of hours, while some remained offline well into the evening.
The hacking coincided with the 63rd anniversary of the start of the Korean War on June 25, 1950.
Investigations into past large-scale cyber assaults on South Korean media groups and financial institutions have concluded that they originated in North Korea.
A number of posts left on the hacked South Korean sites claimed to be the work of the global “hacktivist” group Anonymous and included messages praising North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
Anonymous denied any involvement on its official Twitter account, but said it had succeeded in hacking a number of North Korean media websites on Tuesday.
These included the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and the ruling party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun.
Both sites were briefly inaccessible on Tuesday morning but appeared to be running normally a few hours later.
There was no immediate statement from the North, either confirming or denying the attack.
South Korea has sought to beef up its cyber defences since an attack on March 20 attack completely shut down the networks of e TV broadcasters KBS, MBC and YTN, and brought financial services to a halt.
An official investigation determined North Korea’s military intelligence agency was responsible, with a joint team of civilian and government experts tracing the origin to six personal computers used in North Korea.
The attack coincided with heightened military tensions on the Korean peninsula, following Pyongyang’s nuclear test in February.
North Korea was also blamed for cyber attacks in 2009 and 2011 that targeted South Korean financial entities and government agencies.