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More Cyber Attacks Hit Today

Another wave of cyber attacks took place today, targeting numerous South Korean websites that included the Defense Ministry and the National Intelligence Service (NIS). The South's spy agency said that access to some U.S. government websites--the State and Defense Department to name a few--were also blocked in the process. In addition to the new targets, yesterday's attacks focused on the White House, the Secret Service, the FTC and twenty-three other websites within the U.S. and South Korea (story). With news that North Korea has assembled a "technology reconnaissance team" to disrupt South Korean and U.S. websites, the south's northern rival was--and still is--its primary suspect.

But now some analysts are questioning North Korea's involvement, suspecting pranksters or industrial spies instead. One "online expert" supposedly tracked the spread of the malicious software back to an IP address based in the United States. While South Korean parliament members were quoted saying that they believed "North Korea or pro-North elements" were behind the attacks. U.S. officials would not speculate on the source, saying that government websites face attacks or scams "millions of times" a day. Blending the pro-North elements with news of the U.S.-based IP address, it's quite possible the attacks are a result from terrorist activity within the States.

According to Reuters, today's attacks did not lead to a breach of sensitive government material, nor did they damage the online infrastructure in South Korea. However, the NIS said that it would monitor potential attacks against the network of energy and communications facilities. The defense ministry is also allocating 26 billion won ($20.33 million) to upgrade the security for its computer system.

North Korea warned last month that it would launch a "high-tech war" against South Korea, claiming that its southern rival relayed false information regarding its involvement in cyber attacks.