North Korean hackers blamed for sweeping cyber attack on US networks
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At the time, the White House appeared to be responding to two high-level cyber-security incidents: the apparent breach of a top-secret strike fighter program and a viral attack on computers at a military base in Afghanistan. “[It’s] clear that we’re not as prepared as we should be, as a government or as a country,” Obama said, adding that, the US has "failed to invest in the security of our digital infrastructure.”Skip to next paragraph
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As Monitor reporter Gordon Lubold has noted, there were some 37,000 cyber attacks in the United States in 2007 alone – up 800 percent from 2005, according to a recently published estimate that cited data from the Department of Homeland Security.
The attacks on networks here and in South Korea are the latest reminder that cyber-security remains a pressing concern in the 21st century. They may also be a sign that North Korea has stumbled across a new way to provoke its neighbors to the South and its enemies to the West.
On Mashable, Stan Schroeder writes that continued attacks could have profound economic and political consequences. "What seems like a geek’s dream come true – a cyber war – might end up in tighter government control over the Internet, which can have serious privacy implications for all of us," he argues.
Meanwhile, Ed Morrissey, a conservative blogger, sees the attacks as a clear-cut case of provocation. "The cyber attack shows that [North Korean leader Kim Jong-il] has put plenty of resources into that technology and that Pyongyang intends on pursuing hostilities on every possible battlefield in this generation of leadership and the next," he writes. "The US had better show that we can prevail against it and make it more costly for the Kims than for us."
Update: State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said today that the attack against the state.gov website is "ongoing" but "much reduced," Bloomberg News is reporting. Kelly said he could not speculate as to the identity of the attackers. “We’re investigating, but we can’t confirm the source of attacks yet,” he said.
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