South Korea and US sites under internet assault

And the attacks, which have left many major Korean sites effectively inaccessible since the start of the week, have started spilling over to some US government websites.

The effect of the distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks on US government websites have only been to slow the sites down, but unconfirmed reports suggest that the attacks are originating from North Korea.

According to the Reuters' newswire, the attacks are coming in waves, peaking around 6pm Korean time (5am Eastern US) and early reports suggest the IP calls are highly automated in nature.

Some sources have suggested that the cyberattacks may have been caused by a new generation of botnets coded by causes sympathetic to North Korea, but the government in Pyongyang has remained silent on the issue.

If these sources are correct, and the attacks are the result of a botnet swarm, then North Korea may be the subject of a highly sophisticated character assassination attempt, Infosecurity notes.

Tensions between North and South Korea have been rising steadily, ever since the North's nuclear tests in May of this year, and fueled by a series of missile tests in recent weeks.

Officials in South Korea, meanwhile, have affirmed that the attacks have not resulted in a loss of sensitive government materials, as some internet forum posters suggested earlier in the week.

South Korea's Communications Commission said in a statement that it had stepped up counter measures after Wednesday's fresh wave of attacks, asking local ISPs to filter out any accesses by computers infected with malicious software.

According to the Reuters newswire, South Korea's defence ministry website was amongst those that remained down for a third day on Wednesday, and access to some US government sites, including the State and Defence Department, from South Korea also appeared to have been hit by the DDOS attacks.


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