A major 2009 cyberattack that brought down U.S. government websites may have been launched from North Korea and appears to be linked to series of attacks on South Korean government and banking sites earlier this year, a new analysis suggests.
Computer security software company McAfee Inc. says in a report expected to be released Tuesday that analysis of the two sets of attacks, on the U.S. and on South Korea, had led experts to conclude that the denial-of-service attacks, which flood websites with huge amounts of traffic in a short period of time, were initiated in North Korea, The Associated Press reported.
Clues in the coding point to North Korea or its sympathizers, though it is difficult to know for certain who launched the attacks. McAfee’s vice president of threat research, Dmitri Alperovitch, told the AP that the company’s detailed comparison of the code concluded that they came from the same source with 95 percent certainty.
U.S. authorities had initially believed that the 2009 attack came from North Korea. By last summer, though, cybersecurity experts told the AP that U.S. officials had been unable to pinpoint the precise origin of the attack. Some suspected that it had been perpetrated by South Koreans hoping to ramp up anti-North Korean sentiments in the west.
South Korean investigators said this spring that North Korean hackers launched this year’s attacks, though Pyongyang’s Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces denied playing a role.
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