News / Asia

    Malware Blamed for Crashing S. Korean Computer Networks

    This undated screen grab taken released by the Kaspersky Lab site shows code related to the computer virus known as Flame. This undated screen grab taken released by the Kaspersky Lab site shows code related to the computer virus known as Flame.
    x
    This undated screen grab taken released by the Kaspersky Lab site shows code related to the computer virus known as Flame.
    This undated screen grab taken released by the Kaspersky Lab site shows code related to the computer virus known as Flame.
    South Korean police and government agencies are attempting to determine who is responsible for a malicious act that caused widespread computer outages affecting television channels and banking services.  

    South Korea's communications commission (KCC) says a distributed denial of services (DDos) attack, a common way to overload computer servers making websites unreachable, was not the reason computers at broadcasters and banks became paralyzed.

    The manager of the commission's network information protection team, Lee Seung-won, says there are some initial clues as to what actually happened, based on a quick analysis of data collected from the computer systems at the affected institutions.

    Lee says suspected malware was circulated through a software update application known as the patch management system, destroying the primary sector on hard drives containing the code needed for starting the operating system (the master boot record).

    At the YTN cable news channel, anchorman Ho Jun-seok told viewers the problem affected the work station from which he was trying to read his scripts.

    The newscaster says the computer in front of him, which had been working properly when the newscast started, now is paralyzed.

    South Korea's Internet and Security Agency says there is no trace of an attack on the computer systems coming from outside the country.

    Workers at broadcasters YTN, KBS and MBC say their computers malfunctioned after midday Wednesday.

    South Korea's Financial Services Commission issued a statement saying Shinhan's Internet banking servers went down and that computers at Nonghyup and Jeju banks were hit by a virus that deleted files.  The Commission adds that Woori Bank successfully fended off a suspected denial-of-service attack.

    There are no reports of South Korean government or military computer networks experiencing any trouble.  But South Korea's defense minister raised the alert level for the military's information operations condition after receiving word of the problems affecting civilian networks.

    North Korea is blamed for previous cyber attacks on South Korean web sites and computer networks, the largest taking place in 2009 and 2011.   

    Last week, North Korea blamed the United States and its allies for launching a cyber attack against it.  All of the web sites hosted in the country were inaccessible for two days.

    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora