Cyber Attacks Shut Down Major Korean Websites

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Major websites in both North and South Korea are under a series of cyber attacks after international hacking group Anonymous warned last week that it planned to disclose North Korea’s military documents on Tuesday.

The targeted state-run North Korean websites Rodong Sinmun, Korea Central News Agency and Air Koryo, among others, were down or temporarily blocked on Tuesday. 

Twitter accounts of Anonymous were tweeting live as the attacks were underway.

Anonymous had widely advertised its plans to infiltrate North Korean websites through a video message posted on YouTube on June 17.

“Your major missile documentation and residents, military documents show down is already in progress …We are partially sharing this information with the world,” the two-minute video clip said.

The group claimed it will “no longer tolerate North Korea’s way of ruling and will work towards world peace.”

Anonymous had warned that the cyber attack would be conducted on Tuesday, the 63rd anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War in 1950, to prove its strength.

North Korea has accused the U.S. and South Korean governments of backing Anonymous but released no immediate statement on Tuesday.

In South Korea, dozens of websites were also temporarily disabled throughout the day, including the official site for the presidential office, major government agencies and media companies such as Chosun Ilbo.

Anonymous denied it was behind the attacks on South Korean websites and insisted North Korean hackers were framing the group in retaliation by staging the attack on South Korean websites to make it look like Anonymous was responsible.

The damage was seen as little threat to national security, but the South Korean government issued a cyber attack alert, raising the five-stage national cyber alert from level one to two.

“The government can confirm a cyber attack by unidentified hackers that shut down several sites, including the Blue House,” the science ministry said in a statement.

It did not speculate who might be responsible.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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