09 Mar 2011

South Korea hit by computer virus

According to multiple reports, 40 websites were recently attacked by a computer virus in South Korea.

It’s not clear who is behind the cyber attack, which targeted the presidential Blue House, Foreign Ministry, the country’s largest bank and American and Korean military sites.

The virus was discovered by a leading internet security firm in Seoul, and the National Police Agency is currently investigating the situation. According to computer analysts, the attack was a distributed denial of service by infected zombie computers. The zombie computers try to crash servers by creating surges in traffic that overwhelm the system.

Several agencies had already updated their cyber security defenses, following a similar attack in 2009. As a result, damage suffered by these agencies was not as severe in this instance.

“This wasn’t as serious as 2009, but it still makes servers go down,” said Song Chang-min, a spokesman for the security firm.“Some websites going down for even a minute or two, especially commercial sites, can be a big problem. It can be critical.”

According to a recent Frost & Sullivan study, the Asia-Pacific region represented 26 percent of cyber security spending worldwide in 2010. North America accounted for the highest percentage, with 38.