North and South Korea are suffering through and recovering from cyber attacks they say are coming from each other.
The latest accusations from South Korea as computer networks at South Korean TV broadcasters and two major banks ended up shut down by malicious cyber attacks. South Korea is saying the attacks came from North Korea.
While systems at the South Korean military were not a part of the attack, the army raised its defense level.
North Koreans last week blamed South Korea and the United States for temporarily shutting down their websites in Pyongyang. For weeks, North Korea has been increasing the threat level against South Korea and the U.S.
Officials at KBS, MBC, and YTN broadcasters said their computers shut down at 2 p.m. and have not been able to reboot. LGU+, the network provider to these companies, said they see three skull drawings on a black screen with the phrase, “hacked by Whois Team,” which experts said is a secretive group of hackers. The broadcasters are currently capable of airing programs as normal, though.
Shinhan Bank and NongHyup Bank computers also temporarily shut down. Shinhan Bank, a lender of South Korea’s fourth-largest banking group, took a hit on its online banking and automated teller machines, but its servers were back up within two hours.
Police officials are declining to speculate on whether North Korea is behind this attack, but says the incident is “pretty massive” and it will take a few days to collect conclusive evidence.
Others, however, are saying the likely culprit is North Korea.
“Lately they [North Korean leaders] have been stating publicly that they will make a revenge attack,” said Lim Jong-In, professor of information security at Korea University. “This sort of mass scale attack is a planned organizational one, not by some hacker.”
“North Korea wants to show-off their strong arm without making human casualties. Their goal is to create instability here,” Lim said.
North Korea’s official Central News Agency had accused South Korea and the U.S. last week of an aggressive stance against the regime with “intensive and persistent virus attacks.”
Experts indicated it could take months to determine what happened and one analyst suggested hackers in China were a more likely culprit.