Cyber Attack on South Korea and US Said to be North Korean

New Cybersecurity Czar Probably a Good Idea Right About Now

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Today's New York Times has a creepy account of DDoS attacks that crippled South Korean web sites and some US government web sites during this past weekend.

Access to at least 11 major Web sites in South Korea — including those of the presidential Blue House, the Defense Ministry, the National Assembly, Shinhan Bank, the mass-circulation daily newspaper Chosun Ilbo and the top Internet portal — have crashed or slowed down to a crawl since Tuesday evening, according to the government’s Korea Information Security Agency.

In an attack linked with the one in South Korea, 14 major Web sites in the United States — including those of the White House, the State Department and the New York Stock Exchange — came under similar attacks, according to anti-cyberterrorism police officers in Seoul.

The attack was believed to originate from North Korea.

Although the National Intelligence Service did not identify whom they believed responsible, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the spy agency had implicated North Korea or pro-North Korea groups.

This shows the Obama administration is right on the money in making cybersecurity a national priority. But, although the cyberczar post was announced on May 26, the position still has not been filled.

I nominate Victoria Coleman. Coleman, now a vice president at Samsung Electronics, was previously the director of security initiatives at Intel. More to the point, she co-authered a cybersecurity brief for the White House back in the Stone Age. She was a major source for an article I wrote on hardware trojans last year. ”The economy is globalized, but defense is not globalized,” she told me then. ”How do you reconcile the two?”

She was talking about chip manufacturing, but I think the question can be repurposed for cybersecurity as well.

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