Cyber-Attack Against South Korea Brings Lessons

What can be learned from the recent cyber-attacks in South Korea? During the attacks, the three largest TV broadcasters and three major banks were heavily impacted. The attackers shut down the computer networks of the affected entities, effectively paralyzing them. Fortunately, the disruptions were minimal, with the banks affected resuming operations fairly quickly and the media outlets basically continuing to broadcast despite the attacks. South Korea’s neighbor, North Korea, has garnered much of the blame — this following threats of retaliation after the North accused the South, and their allies the U.S., of cyber-attacks. And while South Korea suffered little to no affect from the attacks, things could have been much worse, according to www.japantimes.co.jp.

Not counting the potential loss of military information or intellectual property, a concentrated and well-carried-out cyber-attack could lead to a degradation of a nation’s power and disrupt the infrastructure of that nation, effectively bringing its operations to a standstill. Furthermore, a successful cyber-attack can lead to a decline in stock prices, which in turn can lead to a downturn in that nation’s economy. Worse yet, residents can suffer injury or even death if sectors such as transportation or water treatment are affected. But what can be done to stop such events from happening, or at least lessen their occurrence?

1.) Make the public and private sectors aware of the actions of hackers to use servers that distribute patches to distribute malware in the form of fake updates. Server operators should take it upon themselves that no unauthorized person gets access to their systems.

2.) A crisis management plan can go a long way toward being prepared for a large-scale cyber attack. Companies should craft a plan with the idea of establishing an advisory council to oversee the planning phase. The plan should cover such areas as allocating resources in a crisis, providing medical care, and informing citizens where they need to go to seek help.

3.) A contingency plan for a coordinated cyber-attack should also be put in place. This includes both cyber and physical offensive attacks. A cyber-attack could be the first stage in a prolonged physical attack and organizations should be prepared for such an eventuality.


For more information about lessons learned from the cyber-attacks on South Korea, visit: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/03/26/commentary/lessons-from-the-cyber-attacks-on-south-korea/