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South Korean banks and TV networks paralyzed by massive malware attack

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seoul south korea stock
seoul south korea stock

Three TV broadcasters and two banks in South Korea have reported serious network outages to police following what appears to have been a malware attack. The YTN, MBC, and KBS networks along with the Shinhan, Nonghyup, Jeju, and Woori banks were all affected; the common thread between them may be LG UPlus, which provides internet services to the companies. TV service has apparently avoided disruption, but the AP reports that Shinhan's ATMs and online banking have been down for at least the past two hours.

Skulls appeared on screens

According to Reuters, LG UPlus' network displayed a page with three skulls and a message from the "Whois Team" claiming responsibility. The page reportedly warned that the incident was "the beginning of 'Our Movement.'" LG UPlus' role in the affair is still unclear, however: while Reuters initially quoted a spokesperson as saying that the network had been hacked, the company has now told the AP that it believes everything is running normally with no sign of a cyberattack. The spokesperson said that the networks and banks affected also used internet services from KT and SK Telecom.

As with many mysterious incidents in the country, immediate suspicion fell upon its reclusive neighbor to the North, which has been lashing out of late at proposed sanctions to be imposed following its recent nuclear test. North Korea does have form in this regard, most infamously bombarding the South with a 10-day coordinated DDoS attack in 2011. However, it's unclear as to who might be responsible at this time, and the Korea Information Security Agency is currently investigating; at present, the South Korean government will only confirm that a malware attack has occurred.