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article imageOp-Ed: South Korean broadcasters, banks hit by cyber attack

By Paul Wallis     Mar 20, 2013 in World
Sydney - South Korea was hit by a cyber-attack today which knocked out three broadcasters and two banks. That may not be the whole story, though. There’s a risk this may have been a dry run for North Korea’s bizarre threats to come into force.
Sydney Morning Herald cites the AP report:
Officials at the two public broadcasters KBS and MBC said that all computers at their companies shut down at 2pm (1600 AEDT) on Wednesday.
The officials declined to give their names, saying they were not authorised to speak to the media.
…Yonhap news agency said at least three broadcasters - KBS, MBC and YTN - and two banks reported that their computer networks had been paralysed.
The problem is that the classic scenario for a modern military strike also includes cyber-attacks on information infrastructure. North Korea isn’t usually considered particularly capable in this field, but that estimate may be wrong. The North Koreans have been acquiring other types of technology around the world, so acquiring this capability is pretty much in line with that theme.
Penetration of broadcasters may not be particularly difficult, but banks are generally considered very hard targets, even for expert hackers. Their security is usually very tight, so a successful attack on two banks raises the ante in the cyber war theatre considerably.
The shutdown effect is also interesting. Shutting down a computer, let alone a network requires system penetration. The ramifications of shutting down missile and tactical systems are obvious. It could also change the face of any military confrontation between the two Koreas.
The cyber attacks are also in line with the latest North Korean rhetoric, which has been virulently condemning US and South Korean military exercises describing the regular exercises as “unpardonable provocation”. North Korea repudiated the ceasefire with South Korea and has been threatening war for some time, although the latest threat of an attack during the military exercises has yet to eventuate.
Meanwhile North Korea has released a video of the White House under attack.
All fun, these people. At this rate, another Korean war is inevitable. Some might say that it's long overdue.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about South Korea, North korea, North Korea cyber warfare capability, US South Korea military exercises 2013, north korean propaganda
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