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Lawmaker's aide suspected of hacking into election Web site

All Headlines 15:08 December 02, 2011

By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- Police said Friday that they are seeking arrest warrants for an incumbent lawmaker's aide and three other Web site administrators on suspicion of orchestrating massive cyber attacks on the national election watchdog's Web site on the day of the October by-elections.

The National Police Agency (NPA) said that the 27-year-old aide to Grand National Party legislator Choi Ku-sik, surnamed Kong, and three other employees at local IT firms are accused of attacking the server of the National Election Commission (NEC) through a so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

According to the NPA's Cyber Terror Response Center, Kong, who was staying in the Philippines, asked his friends over the phone a day before the voting to hack into the site, and they mobilized about 200 virus-carrying computers to swarm NEC's server with massive traffic, disrupting the polling process for about two hours in the morning.

Though technically a small regional election, the elections that included the Seoul mayor seat was considered a crucial test of voter sentiment ahead of next year's parliamentary and presidential elections.

In the vote, opposition-backed independent candidate Park Won-soon was elected Seoul Mayor, beating high-profile ruling rival Na Kyung-won.

Police said they are looking into the case whether they colluded the scheme for political purposes and whether the lawmaker was involved in their plan.

Officials also investigated whether they were behind the cyber attacks on the Web site of the then-opposition-backed candidate Park, which was hit by unidentified attacks two times on the polling day, the NPA said.

Choi's office denied the allegations that the lawmaker was involved in the cyber attack, saying he had not been aware of the aide's alleged crime until the police announced the investigation results.


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