North Korean Cyber Attack?

The denial of service attack over the Fourth of July weekend that brought down several U.S. government web sites, including the Treasury Department and the Secret Service, among others, was broader than previously realized. The Associated Press reports that the White House, the Pentagon, the New York Stock Exchange, the National Security Agency, the Homeland Security Department, the State Department, the Nasdaq stock exchange and the Washington Post (!) were also targeted. The AP describes the attack as “remarkably successful in limiting public access to victim Web sites.” The source of the attack has not been disclosed and may not be known, but South Korean sites were also targeted and South Koreans have claimed that the attack was carried out by the North Korean regime or its supporters.

If so, the cyber attack is part of a pattern of aggressive conduct by North Korea, including the firing of seven missiles on July 4 and the sailing of the Kang Nam 1 (which has now returned to port) in an apparent attempt to circumvent the U.N.’s weapons embargo. Rightly or wrongly, it does not appear that Kim Jong-il’s government has any fear of either the U.S. or the “international community.”


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