By Lee Youkyung
SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's telecommunications regulator said Monday that it has sent a warning against possible cyber attacks after the reported death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
Korea Communications Commission (KCC) raised the cyber alert to the third highest level as of 2 p.m., stepping up monitoring on distributed denial-of-service attacks, or DDos attacks, hacking incidents and other assaults via the Internet, it said in a statement.
The warning came two hours after North Korean state media said in an urgent dispatch that its reclusive leader died of a heart attack on Dec. 17.
The commission is beefing up monitoring of any sudden surge in traffic to Web sites of major government agencies, media companies and Web portals, it said. It also asked Internet users not to open emails about Kim's death sent by unidentified users.
South Korea suffered multiple Internet assaults this year, including an attack on a major local bank that was allegedly launched by North Korea.
South Korean authorities blamed the communist state for attacking the computer system of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, or Nonghyup, in April, which left online financial transactions and credit card services crippled for more than one week. North Korea denied the accusation.
Several firms in the private sector also suffered hacking incidents this year in South Korea, one of the most wired countries in the world, compromising private information of millions of users.