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North, South Korean Sites Hacked On Korean War Anniversary

Websites in both North and South Korea were hacked Tuesday, the 63rd anniversary of the Korean War. A number of South Korean government and media websites reportedly were brought down, including that of President Park Geun Hye and the South Korean Office of Government Policy Coordination.

Yonhap News of South Korea spoke with an official from the National Police Agency's cyber terror response team who observed early Tuesday that "it seems that a massive cyber attack has started."

"It all started at around 9:30 a.m., Korea time when a message saying 'the Great Leader Kim Jong-un" was scrawled in Korean in red letters across the (president's) website,' " writes Arirang News. "At 10 a.m., another message was posted alongside a picture of President Park Geun-hye reading 'Hooray to Kim Jong-un, the president of unification We will continue our attacks until our demands are met.' "

President Park's website seemed to be up and running within hours, but the policy office's was not — it was displaying a message in Korean apologizing for the inconvenience.

The Associated Press reports that some sites in North Korea also were hacked, including Air Koryo, the national airline.

It's unclear who is responsible for the attacks, although there's speculation that North Korea is behind it. Still, as Yonhap points out, the hacking group Anonymous had vowed previously to attack North Korean websites today.

The Associated Press also notes that Tuesday's hackings aren't as serious as a widespread cyber-attack in South Korea last March "that shut down tens of thousands of computers and servers at South Korean broadcasters and banks."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Korva Coleman is a newscaster for NPR.