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S. Korea says alleged IS hacking traced to Middle East

All Headlines 17:43 March 07, 2016

SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- Police said Monday the recent hacking attack on a local firm's computer network, which was suspected to have been orchestrated by the Islamic State (IS) militant group, was traced back to an internet network in the Middle East.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to attack a news-clipping service, which led to a leak of the names and email addresses of 20 public officials and civilians, was registered in Kuwait.

The personal information appeared in a YouTube video the IS group uploaded in February. This video was later deleted.

The clip contained violent scenes in which the IS group executed a hostage and threatened terror attacks against those mentioned, according to the police.

Police said they will launch an international joint investigation to track the suspects based on the IP address -- the online equivalent of a street address or phone number.

Police said they did not rule out the possibility that the hackers could have passed through a Kuwaiti server to infiltrate the South Korean server.

"Though we cannot say for sure that the attack originated from Kuwait, it is meaningful that it was traced to an IP address in the Middle Eastern region," a police officer said. "We need further investigation to figure out the actual source of the attack and whether it is related to the IS group."

Police said no other personal data was leaked in the process.

Officials said they are looking into a possible link between the hacking and a video posted by the IS in November in which the group threatened to carry out terrorist attacks on hostile countries, displaying the flags of 60 nations, including that of South Korea.

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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