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SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's financial watchdog on Wednesday launched a special probe into Shinhan Bank, NongHyup Bank and others whose networks were paralyzed last week due to a massive hacking attack, officials said.
Computer networks at Korea's major broadcasters, three banks and two insurers were shut down last Wednesday due to malicious codes. Korea's No. 3 lender Shinhan Bank, NongHyup Bank and Jeju Bank were hit by the cyber attack, crippling their operations for hours.
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said the inspection will run for around two weeks to check their online security systems and to prevent recurrences of similar incidents.
"The inspection aims to determine the causes of the cyber attacks and to discipline those who are responsible for the incidents," said an official at the FSS.
NongHyup is likely to bear the brunt of the probe as it was hacked for the second time following a similar cyber attack in April 2011.
Despite earlier warnings by the watchdog to beef up its security system, NongHyup had not cut off access to outside networks to prevent potential hackers from accessing its internal networks.
The two insurers hit by last week's cyber attack were affiliates of NongHyup Financial Group.
Shin Je-yoon, the chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), said last week that the country needs to make sure that network paralysis will not happen again by finding out the exact causes through a thorough investigation.
The government is mulling over strengthening the current rules governing local financial firms' computer security, officials said.
In June 2011, the FSC unveiled a set of measures that require local financial institutions to beef up their manpower and investments devoted to computer network security.
The current regulation is not legally binding, but new comprehensive measures would include levying fines or other tougher disciplinary steps, officials said.
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