UK, not North Korea, source of DDOS attacks, researcher says

Analysis contradicts assertions made by some governments of North Korean involvement

The U.K. was the likely source of a series of attacks last week that took down popular Web sites in the U.S. and South Korea, according to an analysis performed by a Vietnamese computer security analyst.

The results contradict assertions made by some in the U.S. and South Korean governments that North Korea was behind the attack. Security analysts had been skeptical of the claims, which were reportedly made in off-the-record briefings and for which proof was never delivered.

The week-long distributed denial of service attack involved sending multiple requests to a handful of Web sites from tens of thousands of computers so the sites became overloaded. Among the sites taken offline at some time during the week were those of the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Treasury, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the South Korea's president's home page, the South Korean national assembly and U.S. Forces Korea.

The computers used to send the flood of requests had been infected with a virus that allowed attackers to use them anonymously.

Every three minutes the infected computers randomly selected one of eight servers to connect to and receive orders, said Nguyen Minh Duc, senior security director at Bach Khoa Internetwork Security (Bkis), in a blog posting on the company's Web site. Bkis says it gained control of two of the eight servers and through this has been able to discover the master server.

That server has an IP address in the 195.90.118.x range, Nguyen said.

The address is registered to Global Digital Broadcast in the U.K. The company could not immediately be contacted.

"Having located the attacking source in UK, we believed that it is completely possible to find out the hacker," Nguyen wrote.

Through analyzing the log files of the two servers it controls, Bkis said the attacks utilized 166,908 PCs in 74 countries that had been infected. That figure is significantly higher than the "several tens of thousands" that other security companies had estimated were involved.

The largest number of infected PCs were in South Korea followed by the U.S., China, Japan, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, the U.K. and Vietnam.

Tags ddosnorth koreaUK

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

7 Comments

Anonymous

1

He is obviously being paid off by the North Koreans.

Anonymous

2

He is obviously being paid

To previous post (15/07/2009 - 04:28 - Anonymous):

You are obviously being paid off by the Brits.

Anonymous

3

Has Nguyen Minh Duc considered the possibility that the C&C box in the Global Digital Broadcast network might be pwned, also?

What cracker in their right mind would use their own boxen for <em>anything</em>?

Anonymous

4

BKIS is wrong, the master server is located in Miami, USA, NOT IN ENGLAND.

BKIS is the biggest IT security company in Vietnam and BKIS has the power to influence the politic and newspapers. After the truth was revealed, the biggest TV channel in Vietnam (VTV1) owned by the government and many newspaper changed that the source is located in Miami BUT this was found by the help of BKIS to cover the fact that BKIS was wrong.

quang tinh

5

Bkis is under investigation

As vietnam newspaper, krcert may sue bkis for wrong information at Bkis blog

Miami Limo

6

Hey You are right.... the Master server is in Miami.....

Thanks

KSTrng

7

SlzFaP

Comments are now closed.

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