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Posts by Martyn Williams
After this week’s decision by North Korea to stop answering a military hotline between border control posts at the Kaesong Industrial Zone, there remains just one known link through which North and South Koreans can still directly speak: an air traffic control connection between Seoul and Pyongyang.
The connection, a vital safety link for air traffic overflying the two countries, was first opened in 1998 when the DPRK opened its airspace to overflying aircraft. Before then, aircraft had to fly around the country and that meant longer flights and higher fuel consumption. Opening North Korean airspace was estimated to bring savings More >
A new round of attacks against North Korean websites began Saturday, causing several to become unavailable.
The attacks appear to be part of a loosely coordinated effort by hackers to target North Korean sites after the country’s state-run media said relations with South Korea were “at a state of war.”
As of 3pm Korean time (0600 UTC) on Saturday, attempts to contact the Naenara, Korean Central News Agency, Air Koryo and Voice of Korea all failed.
The sites were hit with an apparent DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack in which the web servers are flooded with so much junk traffic from hackers More >
Several South Korean websites that specialize in reporting on North Korean issues were hit by cyber attackers on Tuesday, they said late the same day.
Daily NK and Free North Korea Radio both confirmed the attacks in articles posted on their sites. They were said to begin at 2pm local time (0500 UTC) and resulted in the sites being unavailable for some time.
“The attack was aimed at databases and was designed to blow away the entire system. Based on this, we can say that their target was clearly pre-ordained and the aim was to completely incapacitate it,” the Daily NK said More >
The site previously required use of the player by users to hear its audio clips posted online (see, right), but that’s not now the case.
Users can now listen with Flash, and that opens the audio up for the first time to Mac and Linux users. It also means that Windows users who were uneasy about downloading a North Korean software package onto their computers can now listen to the audio.
Users don’t have to download the linked Flash package. Flash can be downloaded from More >
Investigators looking into last week’s cyber attack on South Korean banks and broadcasters have reportedly found more IP (Internet Protocol) addresses linked to the attacks, but one security expert I spoke to said that might mean nothing.
The National Police Agency said it has traced some of the malicious code to addresses in the United States and three European countries, according to Yonhap. No further details were released by the NPA.
The news comes after investigators last week publicly announced a Chinese address as linked to the attack, but then withdrew the accusation a day later. It turned out the address was correct and, when More >
The mysterious cyber attack that hit an estimated 32,000 computers at South Korean TV stations and banks last week is looking more interesting, based on the latest analysis from computer security companies.
The first immediate analysis concluded that the malicious software was pretty unsophisticated, in part because it was based on a piece of malware that has been known for a year or so and because the commands in the code were not hidden.
That still seems to be true, but more data about the malware is coming out as researchers spend more time with it.
The podcast is advertised on the front page of the website with a link that jumps to an Apple iTunes page. The page currently carries ten episodes of the podcast, which is entirely in Korean and combines spoken word with music.
The episodes were uploaded between February 20 and 23 this year and range between 3 minutes and 22 minutes long. There haven’t been any updates in the last month.
It’s classified in the “News and Politics” section of iTunes’ More >
A cyber attack on three of South Korea’s major broadcasters and several of its major banks appears to have been caused by a relatively unsophisticated piece of software, security researchers said Wednesday. [Story updated, see below]
The attacks, which began at around 2pm local time on Wednesday (5:00 UTC) left desktop and laptop computers unable to start at KBS, MBC and YTN and took the auto-teller machines at Shinhan Bank and Nonghyup Bank offline. It didn’t affect the ability of the TV stations to put out programming.
An apparently sophisticated and coordinated cyber attack has caused widespread disruption to computer networks and three of South Koreas largest broadcasters and two of the country’s banks.
The attack first showed itself at 2pm on Wednesday when computers at KBS, MBC and YTN shutdown. Upon restarting, the computers displayed error messages saying they were unable to boot. Apparently the boot record or entire operating system has been removed from the computers.
ATMs and online banking service at Shinhan More >