Remember North Korean's deranged little troll leader, Kim Jong Il, the one firing missiles into the Pacific lately like a ten year-old with bottle rockets on New Year's Eve? Well, he's been hacking into American and South Korean government computers!
In the United States, the attacks primarily targeted Internet sites operated by major government agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, according to several computer security researchers. But The Washington Post's site was also affected.
South Korea's main spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, said in a statement that it thought the attacks were carried out "at the level of a certain organization or state" but did not elaborate. The South Korean news agency Yonhap and the JoongAng Daily, a major newspaper in Seoul, reported that intelligence officials had told South Korean lawmakers that North Korea or its sympathizers were prime suspects. A spokesman for the intelligence service said that it could not confirm the report.
The attacks were described as a "distributed denial of service," a relatively unsophisticated form of hacking in which personal computers are commanded to overwhelm certain Web sites with a blizzard of data. The effort did not involve the theft of sensitive information or the disabling of crucial operational systems, government and security experts said. But they noted that it was widespread, resilient and aimed at government sites.
Now, can someone please explain how one of the world's more technologically backwards countries can hack into any government's computers, much less ours? Have you seen North Korea's official website? It's less than impressive.
U.S., South Korea Targeted in Swarm of Internet Attacks [Washington Post]