Although North Korea lacks the technology to carry out such an attack, Washington said it would deploy more anti-missile batteries in Alaska to counter any threat.
PYONGYANG HAS HACKED SOUTH KOREA BEFORE
The hacking attack brought down the servers of South Korean broadcasters YTN, MBC and KBS as well as two major commercial banks, Shinhan Bank and NongHyup Bank.
South Korean communications regulators said the attack originated from an IP address based in China.
An unnamed official from South Korea’s presidential office was quoted by the Yonhap news agency as saying the discovery of the Chinese IP address indicated Pyongyang was responsible.
Investigations of past hacking incidents on South Korean organisations have been traced to Pyongyang’s large army of computer engineers trained to infiltrate the South’s computer networks.
At least one previous attack was traced to a Chinese IP address.
South Korea’s defence ministry said it was too early to blame the North but said such a cyber capability was a key part of its arsenal. Experts say thousands of North Korean engineers may have been recruited for the purpose.
“Throughout the world, states that create cyber warfare and engage in those types of activities are precisely the same countries that develop nuclear weapons,” Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said.