South Korea Suffers Server Outages At Major TV Networks, Banks

Computer networks of the nation’s key broadcasters and banks were completely paralyzed Wednesday in what appeared to be a cyber attack, police said.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Police and South Korean officials were investigating the simultaneous shutdown Wednesday of computer networks at several major broadcasters and banks. While the cause wasn’t immediately clear, speculation centered on a possible North Korean cyberattack.

The shutdown came days after North Korea blamed South Korea and the United States for cyberattacks that temporarily shut down websites in Pyongyang.

Officials at the two South Korean public broadcasters KBS and MBC said that all computers at their companies shut down at 2 p.m. (0500 GMT). The officials said the shutdown was not immediately causing any damage to their daily TV broadcasts.

Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 3:05 a.m.:

4. South Korean Internet provider says believes service hacked

Reuters - South Korean Internet service provider LG UPlus said on Wednesday that it believed its network had been hacked in an outage that caused major broadcasters and a bank’s networks to fail.

Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 3:15 a.m.:

Computer networks down at #SKorean broadcasters KBS, MBC, YTN, banks Shinhan and Nonghyup... ATMs, cash machines paralyzed in #Seoul

— newsjean (@Jean H. Lee)

South Korea: Korea Communications Commission says they are aware of TV broadcasters and banks' computer network freeze. (@sangwonyoon)

— weeddude (@Michael Rusch)

South Korea looking into possible North Korean involvement in network paralysis at broadcasters, banks (@YonhapNews)

— BuzzFeedNews (@BuzzFeed News)

KBS staff reportedly getting "boot file deleted" messages on their work stations. #ROK #cyber

— W7VOA (@Steve Herman)

CNN: South Korean defense ministry says cyber threat level raised from 4 to 3

— mpoppel (@Michael van Poppel)

Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 3:26 a.m.:

Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 3:40 a.m.:

#ROK police call cyber outage "massive" but not speculating on whether #DPRK has launched attack on computers here.

— W7VOA (@Steve Herman)

NH & Shinhan ATM's appear working normally now in #ROK.

— W7VOA (@Steve Herman)

Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 3:49 a.m.:

18. South Korea military upgrades information alert status after paralysis of major networks

South Korea’s military has upgraded its information surveillance status as investigations were under way to figure out potential causes of network crashes at major broadcasters and banks on Wednesday, the defense ministry said.

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Michael Rusch is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Michael Rusch at
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