The Debate

Cyberattacks Bring Down South Korean Govt Websites

On the anniversary of the start of the Korean War, cyberattacks bring down the ROK President’s websites.

On Tuesday the websites of South Korean President Park Geun-hye and another government agency was brought down from a cyberattack, Yonhap News Agency reports. At the time of this writing, the Presidential website remains down.

According to Yonhap, the attacks occurred around 9:25 local time and originally users visiting the site encountered messages in red. One message read, “Great leader Kim Jong-un.”

Yonhap News Agency also reports that for 10 minutes the Presidential website displayed the hackivist collective, Anonymous’, mantra: "We Are Anonymous. We Are Legion. We Do Not Forgive. We Do Not Forget. Expect Us.”

As The Diplomat previously reported, individuals claiming to be part of Anonymous issued a press release last week declaring that they had hacked North Korea’s intranet and stolen military and other official documents, which they had pledged to release at midnight on Tuesday but have yet to do so.

The press release all called for volunteers to join them in conducting a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on a host of North Korean official websites, which they gave IP addresses too.

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Individuals claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous took down North Korean websites earlier this year with DDoS attacks. However, the group has already denied involvement in the attacks on the South Korean governmental websites.

Notably, on this day in 1950, the North Korean Army crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea in what would be the opening salvo of the Korean War that eventually included interventions by U.S.-led United Nation forces and China. Although an armistice was signed in 1953, no official peace treaty has ever been signed and the two sides technically remain at war.