North Korea Accused of Cyber Attack on South Korean Newspaper

South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper and sister paper the Korea JoongAng Daily were recently disabled by major cyber attacks.

“The English-language Daily said both papers lost the databases for articles and photos,” The Sydney Morning Herald reports. “The editing system that moves copy was also destroyed, disrupting production, by the cyber attack Saturday evening. The paper, in a news report, said the connection to the site was cut off. A photo of a white cat and the statement ‘Hacked by IsOne’ was posted instead.”

“The hacker connected to the JoongAng Ilbo’s Web site by typing in an unusual domain address,, which is used only by the employees,” the Korea JoongAng Daily reports. “Normally, if an outsider connects to this address, the company automatically directs him or her to the domain through a redirection program. The hacker, however, is known to have remained on the address to attack the internal server.”

The Daily quotes Jong Seok-hwa, chief investigator of South Korea’s Cyber Terror Response Center, as saying, “We have dispatched our investigators urgently to the JoongAng Ilbo to secure evidence. We have never seen a strong attack like this before. We will find out the origin of the hacking and take necessary measures.”

“Police believe the hackers carefully planned their attack and planted a malicious code to paralyze the computer network,” The Chosunilbo reports. “‘This went beyond the antics of a lone hacker on a joyride and involved a carefully planned attack against the server itself,’ said a police officer. ‘We are not ruling out the possibility of North Korean cyber terrorism.'”

“A former White House national security expert told The Daily Caller that [the attacks] could have been the work of North Korea,” writes The Daily Caller’s Hal Libby. “‘The North Koreans certainly do have the capability to do this,’ said Stephen Yates, formerly deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for national security affairs. Yates is now CEO of DC International Advisory, a global risk management firm.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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