South Korea has issued a cyberattack alert after it said several government and private sector websites were hacked. The shutdown came on the 63rd anniversary of the start of the Korean War.
Government websites, including that of the presidential Blue House, were targeted by unidentified hackers, the science ministry said Tuesday, adding that the five-stage cyber alert had been raised from level one to two.
Several news media websites, as well as the office for Government Policy Coordination and the ruling New Frontier Party, were also affected by the apparently coordinated attack beginning at 10:45 a.m. (0145 GMT).
The hacking happened on the 63rd anniversary of star of the Korean War, but it was not immediately clear who was responsible. A number of posts left on the hacked websites claimed to be work of the global "hacktivist" group Anonymous, the AFP news agency reported.
Twitter accounts associated with Anonymous claimed to have hacked North Korean websites in a separate attack Tuesday.
South Korea was also the target of a cyberattack on March 20 that targeted computers and servers at broadcasters and banks. An official investigation indicated that North Korea was behind those attacks, which shut down the networks of TV broadcasters KBS, MBC and YTN, and halted financial services at three banks.
North Korea was also blamed for cyberattacks in 2009 and 2011 on financial entities and government agencies in the South.
Tuesday's hacking did not appear to be as serious as the March 20 attack. There were no initial reports that banks or sensitive military or other key infrastructure were hit. The targeted sites appeared to be only briefly inaccessible and were up and running normally a few hours later.
dr/rg (AFP, AP)