One major story that I haven’t put any focus on yet is the massive cyber attack on South Korea’s agricultural co-op bank, Nonghyup. On April 12th this year, a distributed denial of service attack crippled the bank’s systems for several days, affecting millions of customers. The attacks originated from a computer causing the same trouble in March 2010, which was at the time traced to be from North Korea. According to JoongAng:
Prosecutors initially suspected an inside job but now say that North Korea got lucky by randomly infecting a computer that happened to be hooked up to a major South Korean organization’s servers. They say the attack didn’t have a clear or obvious purpose except for causing trouble.
Prosecutors said they found 81 malignant codes on the IBM worker’s laptop that had been encrypted to prevent discovery. The encryption method, prosecutors said, was very similar to that used in DDoS attacks last year and in 2009, which North Korea was believed to be behind.
Seoul prosecutors said the IBM worker’s computer had been infected on Sept. 4, 2010, and subsequently manipulated from afar via the Internet to allow it to extract information.
Kim Young-dae, a senior prosecutor from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, said, “1,073 A4 pages worth of information were taken during the past seven months.” Kim said a key-logging program had been installed, giving the perpetrators access to administrator passwords. However, the data extracted was not related to customer transactions, Kim said.
The laptop was then commanded to cause destruction, and on April 12 it wreaked havoc on 273 of Nonghyup’s 587 servers in two attacks lasting 40 minutes.
Hackers deleted the malicious programs from the laptop after the attacks, prosecutors said, which made tracking them “extremely difficult.”
Kim said the perpetrators hadn’t targeted Nonghyup, but by chance managed to infect a computer linked to its servers.
North Korea released their response to these allegations, by way of state run news outlet KCNA:
A spokesman for the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces under the DPRK National Defence Commission issued a statement on Tuesday censuring the south Korean group of traitors for their bad habit of pulling up the DPRK.
The statement said:
South Korea reportedly met the "greatest banking computer disturbance ever in history", in which the banking computer network of the "National Agricultural Cooperative Federation" has been put at the worst paralysis since April 12.
This case caused a great loss and south Korea experienced a hot agony of shame in the eyes of the world.
What is at issue is the fact that the group of traitors let the puppet Intelligence Service and prosecution finally announce this case as "done by the north" after making "joint investigation" into it for nearly one month.
What the group claimed as evidence to link the case with the DPRK is that the IP used in attacking the said computer network was identical with the IP of the DPRK Ministry of Post and Telecommunications and the attack was based on the delicate and accurate way of remote control whereby its attacker was supposed to be a special cyber unit. It also asserted that such attack was hard to be carried out without mighty human and material resources and this was not an attack for "gaining specified interests" such as stealing fund and data but repeated attack aimed at "indiscriminate destruction."
Its assertions are just absurd argument based on unreasonable ground.
Even the members of the federation hard hit by what happened, in actuality, refuted the announcement that "the north was responsible for the cyber attack" as a "hasty conclusion" as it lacked scientific accuracy. Even the Defense Security Command of the puppet army known not to lag behind others in investigating cases officially declared that the incident cannot be branded as an "attack made by the north Korean military."
Moreover, experts cast doubt about the assertion that "it was done by the north," querying "Had the IPs used for the above-said attack belonged to U.S., Japan or south Korea, the U.S., Japan and south Korea should have been accountable for having created this confusion."
Last year the south Korean authorities asserted that the "Cheonan" sinking case was "linked with the north" as the propelling body of the torpedo they claimed sank it was inscribed with letters "No. 1." Different circles of south Korea are now widely jeering at them, putting up questions as to how many letters "No. 1" were attached to the IPs which were used for attacking the Federation’s banking computer network.
In the final analysis, the story about "the north’s involvement" spread by the group of traitors is creating fresh suspicion even in its own camp and it is, therefore, derided by people for being one more farce and charade. The above-said story floated by the group is aimed at saving its policy of confrontation with the north from shaking to its very foundation, weathering the crisis of its state administration fully disclosed in the closing years of its rule before and after the April 27 by-election and evade the responsibility for having stemmed the trend of national reconciliation, unity, peace and prosperity.
All the developments go to prove that the group of traitors’ rumor that "the north was responsible for what happened" is one more farce staged against the nation to realize its sinister attempt and an anti-DPRK charade as ridiculous as the "Cheonan" warship sinking case.
There are sayings that one should reflect on one’s deed before pulling up others and one had better mind one’s own business.
The group of traitors should boldly discard its bad habit of finding fault with others.
And it should immediately stop its reckless war exercises, waiting for someone’s "contingency" to take place, unaware of its situation where it is threatened with total collapse.
The group of traitors should bear in mind that the more anachronistic anti-DPRK farce and charade it orchestrates, the bitterer disgrace and fiasco it will face.
Typical North Korea bluster. As with last March’s Cheonan warship sinking, they are outright denying any involvement, which has been a prickly issue for the South Korean government who insist on apologies for the Cheonan attack and Yeonpyeong Island shelling before a return to Six Party Talks aimed at denuclearization can resume. South Korea’s investigation is still ongoing.
Source: Korea JoongAng Daily / KCNA