By Kim Tae-gyu
Korean firms are running risks of being attacked by Muslim extremist
hackers on occasion of the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion
to Iraq that falls Monday, police said Sunday.
The National Police Agency issued a warning about politically
motivated cyber attacks against Korea, which is regarded as one of
main enemies by some Muslim crackers due to the nation's dispatch of
forces to Iraq.
``Among countries that sent troops to Iraq, Korea is thought of as one
of few countries, along with the United States, which do not consider
pulling out its soldiers,'' said an official at the law enforcement
At the request of Washington, Seoul dispatched up to 3,600 troops to
Iraq in August 2004, representing the third largest foreign force
after the U.S. with 155,500 and Britain with 8,500.
Korea looks to substantially cut down on the number to just higher
than 2,000. But the country is not considering pulling out all
soldiers _ mainly construction and medical staffs _ from the war-torn
``That appears to encourage some Muslim extremists to vandalize Korean
companies' Web sites as a measure of revenge. We have intelligence
regarding that,'' he said.
AhnLab, Korea's foremost online security company, cautions that
``defacement,'' which means replacing the normal content of a site
with a specific political or social message or erasing the content
entirely, might happen Monday.
``Defacement attack is not difficult technology. Korean outfits are
required to prepare for any potential (defacement) vandalizing
attempts, timed with the third anniversary of the Iraqi war,'' AhnLab
chief executive Kim Chul-soo said.
Microsoft Korea, an affiliate here of the world's biggest producer of
software, said more severe threat of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks
might be on the line.
DoS attackers are attempting to bring corporate networks to their
knees by flooding them with useless traffic, thus shutting down the
``There is a possibility that viruses are lurking in cyber space,
which are programmed to activate DoS attacks on Korean sites, on the
war anniversary,'' Microsoft Korea chief security officer Cho
``We are keeping a tab on things. In (an) emergency, our task force
team will immediately convene,'' he continued.
Cho worried that those who do not patch up their security holes
periodically are under constant hazards of being victimized by DoS
``Big corporations are well prepared by paying much attention to
security woes but small-sized ones are not. That causes concerns,''
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