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Park's transition team flip-flops over hacking attempt

Publication Date : 18-01-2013


South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye’s transition team released conflicting reports Thursday on a possible hacking attempt by North Korea on its computer system.

Lee Won-ki, a spokesperson of the team, told reporters early in the morning that its computer security team discovered a possible hacking attempt from the North while checking its security system.

The official said only the server connecting the Internet for the press room had been attacked, while the transition team’s main system was not.

The transition team, however, later corrected its announcement, noting that it was only a “precautionary” message to alert reporters.

Yoon Chang-jung, Park’s chief spokesman, later re-corrected the announcement, saying that it was a communication error.

“The press room is vulnerable to hacking attempts; we wanted to alert reporters to check security programs and change security codes regularly,” he said.

He refused to answer a question on whether or not the incident was a hacking attempt from the North or other hackers.

“We can’t give any information at the moment,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the National Police Agency confirmed Wednesday that North Korea was behind a cyberattack on the website of the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper.

It is the fifth time in three years that Pyongyang has been linked to cyberattacks on Seoul’s websites. North Korean hackers reportedly destroyed data on the newspaper’s computer server and modified its website, according to the policy agency.

Pyongyang is also accused of attacking the computer system of Nonghyup, one of the country’s major banks, in 2011; major government and business websites in 2009 and 2011; and email accounts of Korea University in 2011.


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