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N. Korean ministry behind July cyber attacks: spy chief

All Headlines 10:16 October 30, 2009

SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) -- Seoul's intelligence agency has named North Korea's telecommunications ministry as the origin of a series of cyber attacks in July on scores of state and private Web sites in South Korea and the United States, lawmakers said Friday.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) had initially assumed North Korea was the likely cause of the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that affected 26 targets, including the Web sites of the presidential offices in Seoul and Washington. But the latest comments mark the first time the agency has named a specific organ as the user of the Internet protocol (IP) address linked to the attacks.

"Our search into the route of the DDoS attacks on South Korean and U.S. sites found a line coming from China," NIS chief Won Sei-hoon said in a closed-door meeting of the National Assembly intelligence committee on Thursday.

"The line was found to be on the IP that the North Korean Ministry of Post and Telecommunications is using on rent (from China)," he said. His remarks were quoted by committee lawmakers who attended the meeting.

No significant damage was reported from the July attacks, though investigators failed to determine who was behind them.

Won refused to comment further, saying that to "answer in specifics would risk revealing national strategies."


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