South Korean Web sites were attacked again Thursday in a days-long assault that Seoul reportedly suspects North Korea is behind.
government Web sites have been affected in this third wave of Internet
assaults, including the South Korean Defense Ministry and National
Intelligence Service. The Internet site of at least one Korean bank
was also affected.
The South Korean news agency Yonhap cited
government and industry officials as saying that the virus that has
infected tens of thousands of computers appears to be programmed to
automatically delete itself on Friday.
Lawmakers say the
intelligence service told them Wednesday it suspects Pyongyang or its
sympathizers could be involved in the attacks.
Web sites in the United States that were targeted earlier this week appeared to have recovered Thursday.
the United States, officials said Wednesday a days-long cyber attack
had affected U.S. government Web sites including those of the White
House, departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and Treasury, and the
Voice of America.
In South Korea, earlier cyber attacks affected
Web sites for the presidential office, ruling party, defense ministry
Computer experts describe this kind of attack as a
"distributed denial of service." A computer virus spreads from one
personal computer to another, directing data traffic from those
computers to the targeted Web sites.
If North Korea did carry
out the cyber attacks, it would represent a further escalation of
tensions on the Korean peninsula between Pyongyang and Seoul. North
Korea has engaged in a series of long and short-range missile tests in
recent months, as well as a nuclear test back in May.