Malicious computer codes attacked the Web sites of South Korea’s presidential office and other major institutions on Friday, shutting down some of them temporarily, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The presidential office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and top lender Kookmin Bank were among 29 institutions whose Web sites were hit by the so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that started from 10 a.m. (0100 GMT), South Korea’s top computer security company AhnLab Inc. said in a statement, according to the report.
Additional attacks are expected to begin at 6:30 p.m. (0930 GMT), targeting some 40 government and corporations’ Web sites, said AhnLab.
South Korea raised the cyber alert level following the DDoS attack, which disables access to servers and harms PC’s hard drives, the report said, adding that the country’s telecommunications regulator Korea Communications Commission issued the third-highest alert.
The presidential office confirmed the attack, but no damage was done, the report said.
The latest DDoS attack also targeted the Web sites of the unification ministry, the defense ministry, the National Assembly, the military headquarters, the US Forces in Korea, major local lenders, securities companies, Internet portals and other government agencies.
Attackers hacked two domestic peer-to-peer file sharing Web sites on Thursday evening and planted malicious codes in files, which were downloaded onto PCs and triggered massive cyber assaults.
AhnLab and government officials estimated between 4,300 and 11,000 personal computers were infected by malware that causes DDoS. The latest DDoS attack bears resemblance to the cyber attack that targeted 23 local Web sites in July 2009.