Feeds

Row over Korean election DDoS attack heats up

Ruling party staffer accused of disrupting Seoul mayoral by-election

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A political scandal is brewing in Korea over alleged denial of service attacks against the National Election Commission (NEC) website.

Police have arrested the 27-year-old personal assistant of ruling Grand National Party politician Choi Gu-sik over the alleged cyber-assault, which disrupted a Seoul mayoral by-election back in October.

However, security experts said that they doubt the suspect, identified only by his surname "Gong", had the technical expertise or resources needed to pull off the sophisticated attack. Rather than knocking the NEC website offline, the attack made a portion of the website – offering information on voting booth locations – inaccessible.

Despite this issue resembling a technical fault rather than a DDoS attack, the incident is being treated as a criminal attack by the police, who have arrested Gong and charged him along with three others.

Police said that the "attack", which lasted for more than two hours, was launched using a total of 10 wireless internet connections, including five T-Login and five WiBro connections. Police speculated that this was either a way of making it harder to thwart the attack or an attempt to complicate police efforts to investigate the assault. A police official told Korean daily newspaper The HankYoreh: “This went beyond simply using zombie PCs and wireless internet to launder IP addresses. It was a sophisticated attack.”

Opposition groups argue that the early morning timing of the attack was carefully designed to disrupt the voting of young commuters, who are more likely to vote for opposition (liberal) candidates. They want to force a parliamentary audit or special prosecutor’s investigation if the police investigation fails to get to the bottom of the attack.

Gong continues to protest his innocence, a factor that has led opposition politicians to speculate that he is covering up for higher-ranking officials who ordered the attack.

Democratic Party politician Baek Won-woo told The HankYoreh: “We need to determine quickly and precisely whether there was someone up the line who ordered the attack, and whether there was compensation.” ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches
CloudPassage points to 'pervasive' threat of Bash bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.