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N. Korea Suspected in S. Korea, US Web Attacks

Earlier today, South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) reported that twenty-six Internet sites in South Korea and the United States--including the official White House website--were either attacked or disabled entirely by hackers using malicious programs. According to Yonhap (via Reuters), the attackers tried to jam the websites by overwhelming their data capacity and knocking them out of service. The Treasury and Transportation departments, the Secret Service and the Federal Trade Commission were only a few listed U.S. government websites that were affected by the attack. South Korea suffered attacks via the presidential office website, the defense ministry, and the National Assembly to name a few.

"The attacks consisted of massive harmful traffic to specific sites causing access slowdown or disablement, and some national institutions, banks and media sites have been targeted," said South Korea's Communications Commission in a statement.

South Korea's spy agency claims that the attacks stemmed from "an organization and possibly a state." The South Korea media, however, is reporting a different statement quoted by parliament members after the NIS briefing, describing that "North Korea or pro-North elements" were behind the attacks. Either way, the news of possible North Korean cyber attacks only solidifies reports dating back in May that North Korea had created a "technology reconnaissance team" in order to collect information and disrupt South Korean and U.S. military networks (story).

Many government and online shopping websites were still down as of this morning, and currently South Korea is unable to gain access to U.S. government websites due to security measures set in place by Homeland Security. Yonhap said that police and prosecutors are now investigating the incidents.