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Damage from N.K. cyber attacks estimated at 860 bln won: lawmaker

2013/10/15 11:58

SEOUL, Oct. 15 (Yonhap) -- The total damage from North Korea's cyber attacks on South Korea's computer systems is estimated at more than 860 billion won (US$805 million) between 2009 and 2013, a lawmaker said Tuesday, citing government data.

According to the data submitted by the defense ministry's cyber warfare headquarters, the North's latest attacks on March 20 and June 25 caused the most damage at 800 billion won, followed by the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on July 7, 2009, at 50 billion won, and the March 4 DDoS attack in 2011 at 10 billion won, Rep. Chung Hee-soo of the ruling Saenuri Party said.

A DDoS attack swamps selected sites with traffic by seeking simultaneous access via virus-infected "zombie" computers.

North Korea's cyber attacks have often targeted the websites of South Korean government offices, including the presidential office and the prime minister's office, as well as local banks and media outlets.

Some of the attacks have crippled the nation's banking networks and services for days.

The North has also conducted 6,392 cyber attacks against South Korea's military since 2010 by attacking its websites, spreading malware and sending e-mails with hacking capabilities.

"North Korea has 3,000 troops handling cyber warfare, while we have around 400," Chung, a member of the parliamentary defense committee, said. "We are seriously lacking in the necessary budget and professional staff. The establishment of a cyber command center with defense capabilities against North Korea's cyber attacks and electromagnetic bombs is also being delayed."

   hague@yna.co.kr

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