Skip to main content

South Korea says hacking not from Chinese address

By K.J. Kwon and Jethro Mullen, CNN
March 22, 2013 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
Members of the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA) check on cyber attacks at a briefing room of KISA in Seoul on March 20, 2013.
Members of the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA) check on cyber attacks at a briefing room of KISA in Seoul on March 20, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Wednesday's suspected cyberattack hit 32,000 computers
  • Nine companies fell victim to the malicious code
  • Government computers weren't affected
  • South Korea has blamed the North in the past, which has rejected the allegations

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- The suspected cyberattack that struck South Korean banks and media companies this week didn't originate from a Chinese IP address, South Korean officials said Friday, contradicting their previous claim.

The Korea Communications Commission, a South Korean regulator, said that after "detailed analysis," the IP address that was thought to be from China was determined to be an internal IP address from one of the banks that was infected by the malicious code.

It said, though, that "the government has confirmed that the attack was from a foreign land."

An IP address is the number that identifies a network or device on the Internet.

Read: Why cyber attacks threaten our freedom

Widespread damage

Experiencing a potential cyberattack
Internet outage hits South Korea
Cybersecurity concerns for China, U.S.

The attack Wednesday damaged 32,000 computers and servers at media and financial companies, South Korea's Communications Commission said.

It infected banks' and broadcasters' computer networks with a malicious program, or malware, that slowed or shut down systems, officials and the semiofficial Yonhap News Agency said.

The military stepped up its cyberdefense efforts in response to the widespread outages, which hit nine companies, Yonhap reported, citing the National Police Agency.

Government computer networks did not seem to be affected, Yonhap cited the National Computing and Information Agency as saying. A joint team from government, the military and private industry was responding.

How the hackers got in and spread the malicious code remains under investigation, and analysts are examining the malware, a South Korean official close to the investigation said.

Read: International cyber attacks on the rise

Blaming North Korea in the past

South Korea has accused the North of similar hacking attacks before, including incidents in 2010 and 2012 that also targeted banks and media organizations. The North rejected the allegations.

The outages come amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with the North angrily responding to a recent U.N. Security Council vote to impose tougher sanctions on Pyongyang after the country's latest nuclear test last month.

Last week, North Korea invalidated its 60-year-old armistice with the South. It has threatened to attack its neighbor with nuclear weapons and has also threatened the United States.

The armistice agreement, signed in 1953, ended the three-year war between North and South but left the two nations technically in a state of war.

The United States has deployed B-52 bombers to conduct high-profile flyovers of its South Korean ally and announced that it will deploy new ground-based missile interceptors on its West Coast against the remote possibility that North Korea could strike the United States with long-range weapons.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT