- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 7, 2010

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (AP) - Hundreds of computers that caused a wave of outages on U.S. and South Korean government websites last July launched new attacks on the same sites, but no major damage was reported, police said Thursday.

More than 460 computers infected with malicious computer codes assaulted 25 websites, including that of South Korea’s presidential Blue House, on Wednesday as they are programmed to attack every July 7, said Jeong Seok-hwa, a police officer handling investigations on the cyberattacks.

“But the attacks were so weak that there were no problems in accessing the sites,” he said.

The malicious computer codes, called malware, are used in triggering so-called denial of service attacks, in which large numbers of computers try to connect to a site at the same time to overwhelm the server.

He said the most of the infected computers are in South Korea and others are traced to the U.S., Britain, China and Japan.

He also cautioned that there could be other attacks on Thursday and Friday.

The latest attack came a month after two South Korean government websites were struck with denial of service attack that officials said was traced to China.

Last July, government websites in South Korea and the U.S. were paralyzed by cyberattacks.

South Korean officials believed those attacks were conducted by North Korea, but U.S. officials have largely ruled out North Korea as the origin, according to cybersecurity experts.

Experts say there is no conclusive evidence that North Korea, or any other nation, orchestrated it.

South Korean media have reported that North Korea runs an Internet warfare unit aimed at hacking into U.S. and South Korean military networks to gather information and disrupt service.

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