Feeds

Row over Korean election DDoS attack heats up

Ruling party staffer accused of disrupting Seoul mayoral by-election

Seven Steps to Software Security

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.” ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.