Hacker Attacks Rising Sharply in Korea

[ASIA] A total of 1,858 cases of hacking were detected in Korea as of November, more than triple the 572 cases found last year, according to the Korea Information Security Agency (KISA) Tuesday.

There were only 147 hacker attacks in 1996, with the figure dropped to 64 in 1997. However, hacking began to rise sharply again in 1998 to 158, and 572 last year.

KISA noted that major corporations appear to be the main target for hacker attacks. Ninety-two, or 40.5 percent of 227 all attacks that occurred in November, were targeted against corporations.

According to KISA, there are two hacking methods widely employed in Korea. In 110 cases, hackers broke into target computers by aiming at their system’s most vulnerable point. In 103 cases, hackers stole information from computers after secretly installing a virus program often referred to as a “Trojan Horse.”

Along with these two methods, there were six cases in which hackers used a technique called “denial of service (DOS).” With this technique, a hacker never actually penetrates a company or server’s system, but sends so much information through at one time that no one else can access the site, the same technique that paralyzed Yahoo!, EBay and other well-known Web sites in February.

There were also four hacking cases using e-mail, two cases in which hackers stole the ID of Web site operators, and two remotely-controlled hacking attacks.

An analysis of hackings in November shows that Korean computer systems are easy prey for foreign hackers. Thirty-six out of 227 cases involved foreign hackers attacking Korean computers.

In another 29 cases, foreign hackers used Korean computers as a pathway to launch attacks on other non-Korean computer systems.

There were also 138 cases in which it was impossible to confirm the nature of the hacking.

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