SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea said on Wednesday that North Korea was behind a cyberattack last year against a conservative Seoul newspaper critical of Pyongyang.
North Korean hackers distorted the website of the mass-circulation JoongAng Ilbo newspaper and deleted some data from the paper’s news filing and production system last June, the National Police Agency said in a statement.
The paper quickly restored the system and its newspaper production was done without any major problem. A picture of a grinning cat and the words, “Hacked by IsOne,” were also posted on the paper’s website at the time.
Police said a China-based IP address used in the cyberattack belongs to North Korea’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. Police offices said their finding was made after analyzing data from the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre, a regional registry service for IP addresses.
An overseas server used in the cyberassault was also found to be the same one North Korea used when launching other types of cyberattacks on South Korea in recent years, the police statement said.
North Korea has denied being behind those previous cyberattacks. It hasn’t immediately responded to the latest charge.
Last year’s cyberattack came only days after North Korea’s military warned that its troops had aimed artillery at the specific coordinates of the JoongAng Ilbo and other media groups over perceived insults on children’s festivals in Pyongyang.
Animosity has run high between the Koreas since two attacks blamed on Pyongyang killed 50 South Koreans in 2010. Last month, North Korea successfully shot a satellite into space on a long-range rocket, a launch South Korea and the US condemned as a banned test of missile technology.
The Korean Peninsula is still technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.