SKorea military networks under growing cyber attack

June 16, 2009

South Korea's military computer networks are under ever-growing cyber attack with 95,000 cases reported daily on average, officials said Tuesday.

The Defence Security Command said in a report to a security forum that every day the military counters an average of 10,450 hacking attempts and 81,700 computer virus infections in addition to other cases.

The attacks increased 20 percent this year compared to 2008, it said.

A spokesman for the command told AFP most of the attacks are the same as ordinary people experience at home, but one-tenth are serious.

"Eleven percent of the total are sophisticated and vicious attempts to hack into military servers and to gather intelligence," the spokesman said.

The command did not elaborate where the originated. Defence officials in Seoul have previously pointed to North Korea and China, which they say run elite hacker units.

Yoo Ho-Jin, an official of the National Intelligence Service, said his agency recently proposed that the president name an aide to deal with cyber-security.

"Our country continues to be vulnerable. Some of our government branches failed to function when we recently simulated a cyber-attack on them," Yoo told a security forum on Tuesday, according to Yonhap news agency.

"This is a grave threat to our national security."

South Korea and the United States in April agreed to cooperate to defend their defence networks from countries including China and North Korea.

Last year South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo warned his cabinet against what he called attempts by Chinese and North Korean computer hackers to obtain state secrets.

(c) 2009 AFP

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