South Korea Backtracks On Accusation That Recent Cyber Attack Emanated From China

Is this a case of mistaken identity, or diplomacy?

South Korea has backed down from its accusation that the cyber attacks earlier this week on some of its banking and broadcasting institutions emanated from China.

China is, of course, North Korea's greatest ally, which has been ramping up the war games with its neighbor in recent months.

The VP of Korea's Internet Security Agency, Lee Jae-il, says that the malware came from an internal server of the NongHyup bank, one of the institutions which were attacked, and whose IP address corresponded with a Chinese IP address.

Officials, however, still believe that the attack originated in another country--a common practice amongst hackers in China.

The style of attack sounds similar to the recent one on the New York Times, where an American university's servers were used to reroute the attack in an attempt to confuse investigators.

It's hard to know, however, whether or not Seoul's sudden stand down is due to a gentle squeeze of pressure from the U.S., which is attempting to fight its own cyber war with Asia's biggest power using diplomacy rather than retaliation. South Korea also needs China to remain critical of North Korea's belligerence, rather than backing the oppressive Kim regime.

[Image by Flickr user jinnita]

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