Cyberattacks Hit U.S. and South Korean Web Sites

A wave of cyberattacks aimed at 27 American and South Korean government agencies and commercial Web sites temporarily jammed more than a third of them over the past five days, and several sites remained stalled or extremely slow on Wednesday.Officials and computer experts in the United States said that the attacks were unsophisticated and on a relatively small scale, and that their origins had not been determined. They said 50,000 to 65,000 computers had been commandeered by hackers and ordered to flood specific Web sites with access requests, causing them to slow or stall. Such robotic networks, or botnets, can involve more than a million computers.
http://nytimes.com/2009/07/09/technology/09cyber.htmlAlso see:U.S., South Korea Targeted in Swarm Of Internet Attacks
U.S. and South Korean authorities yesterday were investigating the source of attacks on at least 35 government and commercial Web sites in the two countries, officials said.In the United States, the attacks primarily targeted Internet sites operated by major government agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, according to several computer security researchers. But The Washington Post’s site was also affected.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/08/AR2009070800066.htmlNo sign of N. Korean backing in bot attacks on U.S. sites, says researcher
There’s nothing in the code of the malware used since Saturday to attack a wide array of U.S. and South Korean government and high-profile Web sites that indicates the campaign is backed by the government of North Korea, a noted botnet researcher said today.”There’s nothing in there to suggest that it’s state sponsored,” said Joe Stewart, the director of director of SecureWorks’ counter-threat unit, who has examined the attack code planted on the thousands of hijacked PCs used to conduct distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. “In fact, it looks like every other bot I see created by an intermediate programmer.”
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9135306/No_sign_of_N._Korean_backing_in_bot_attacks_on_U.S._sites_says_researcher
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/070809-no-sign-of-n-korean.htmlANALYSIS – Cyber attacks may not have come from North Korea
Cybersecurity analysts raised doubts on Wednesday that the North Korean state launched recent attacks on U.S. government and South Korean websites, saying industrial spies or pranksters could be the villains.More than two dozen websites in the United States and South Korea, including that of the U.S. State Department, were attacked in recent days.
http://in.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idINIndia-40913220090709Cyberattacks on federal Web sites may be smokescreen
The type of cyberattack that took down multiple federal Web sites this week is more of a nuisance than a threat to national security, according to computer security experts, but it can be used to conceal more serious attacks on networks and systems.Denial-of-service attacks, under which Web sites are bombarded with heavy amounts of traffic in an effort to force them to shut down, knocked a number of agencies’ sites offline starting July 4, including those of the State, Transportation and Treasury departments, the Secret Service, and the Federal Trade Commission. No sensitive information was stolen or classified systems accessed, according to a Washington Post report.
http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20090708_6262.phpMore web attacks likely, North Korea suspected
A fresh wave of cyber attacks that slowed U.S. and South Korean websites this week could come later on Thursday, a web security firm said, while the South’s spy agency has said the hacking may be linked to North Korea.The impact of the attacks, aimed at dozens of sites including the White House and the South’s presidential office, was seen as negligible, experts said, but served as a reminder that Pyongyang has been planning for cyber warfare.
http://in.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idINIndia-40916920090709The U.S.-South Korea Cyberattack: How Did It Happen?
It sounds like an advanced operation: Hackers hit dozens of high-profile Web sites, knocking the Federal Trade Commission and other government groups completely offline. Days later, South Korea gets a wave of the same treatment.The description may seem shocking, but a recent series of attacks on U.S. and South Korean Web sites was actually far less sophisticated than one might think. Security researchers are gaining a better understanding of what exactly happened, and why it caused so many major sites to go down.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/168084/.htmlCyberattack Strikes Web Sites in U.S., South Korea
At least 35 government and commercial Web sites in South Korea and the United States came under major attack over the past several days, fueling suspicions of involvement by North Korea or its sympathizers.In the United States, the attacks targeted Web sites operated by major government agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, according to several computer security researchers. The Washington Post’s site was also affected.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/08/AR2009070800066.htmlWhite House among targets of sweeping cyber attack [AP]
The powerful attack that overwhelmed computers at U.S. and South Korean government agencies for days was even broader than initially realized, also targeting the White House, the Pentagon and the New York Stock Exchange.Other targets of the attack included the National Security Agency, Homeland Security Department, State Department, the Nasdaq stock market and The Washington Post, according to an early analysis of the malicious software used in the attacks. Many of the organizations appeared to successfully blunt the sustained computer assaults.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cyber-attack9-2009jul09,0,1998483.storyPyongyang blamed for S Korea cyber attack
South Korean intelligence officialson Wednesday blamed their North Korean neighbours for a cyber attack that paralysed the president’s website as well as those of the defence ministry, other state agencies, banks, retailers and media companies.South Korea is one of the world’s most wired nations and the attack highlighted what some see as its vulnerability to cyber attacks from the North and others.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/eedc1c16-6b89-11de-9320-00144feabdc0.htmlU.S., South Korea Search for Source of Cyber Attacks
South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials said they were trying to determine whether North Korea launched the electronic attack that disrupted the Web sites of several South Korean and U.S. government agencies late Tuesday and Wednesday.The attack took the form of a rogue software program, or virus, sent to South Korean computers that were then made to repeatedly try to access Web sites. That process, known as a “denial of service,” produces so many requests for data that Web sites become jammed and inaccessible.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124701806176209691.html

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