By Kim Tae-gyu
Hackers from Iran and Turkey vandalized many South Korean Internet
sites last month. This is possibly due to Korea's continued stationing
of forces in Iraq.
In its monthly report, the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC)
announced of late that the number of defacement attacks on Korean Web
sites rose to 28 last month, more than tripling July's total of 9.
On some sites, attempts were made to replace the normal content with
specific political or social messages, while other attacks were
focused on erasing content entirely.
``Most of the attacks came from Iran and Turkey. We are trying to
learn the reason,'' said an official at the NCSC, the affiliate of the
country's spy agency, the National Intelligence Service.
Experts here suggest the attacks may be related to the presence of
Korean soldiers in Iraq, which they say can encourage some Muslim
extremists to vandalize Korean Web sites.
This is not the first time such a possibility has been voiced. In
February, the National Police Agency issued a warning about
politically motivated cyber attacks against Korean Web sites. This
coincided with the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
At the request of Washington, Seoul dispatched up to 3,600 troops to
Iraq in Aug. 2004, representing the third-largest foreign force after
the United States with 155,000 and Britain with 8,500.
Korea has substantially cut down numbers to roughly 2,800 _ mostly
construction and medical staff _ but it is not considering pulling out
In this climate, AhnLab, Korea's foremost online security company,
keeps a tab on possible defacement and other attacks in the virtual
``We always monitor vandalizing attempts like defacement or denial of
service (DoS) attacks, in particular from Muslim countries,'' said
Kang Eun-sung, a senior researcher at AhnLab.
DoS attacks are a more serious threat than defacement as the
activities are aimed at shutting down corporate networks by flooding
them with useless traffic.
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