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Pyongyang may be behind cyber attacks

A major cyber attack that crippled a string of websites ranging from the South Korean presidential office to banks and a news organization on Tuesday and Wednesday was orchestrated by a hostile group that may be linked to North Korea, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

Yonhap cited a number of unnamed lawmakers who were said to have been briefed on the matter by the country's spy agency.

The attack was launched Tuesday evening crashing websites of the presidential office, the National Assembly, Defense Ministry, and other government offices.

The cyber strike was conducted by some tens of thousands of computers infected with a virus that ordered the machines to access designated websites some hundreds to thousands of times per second, according to Chosun Ilbo, South Korea's largest daily, which also suffered from the attack on its Internet version.

Government websites in the U.S. also suffered from the same attack launched on Tuesday, and a second wave of strikes hit websites the following day including South Korea's largests banks and the country's intelligence agency.

The South Korean government responded by pulling together a cyber terror response center, and it has already located and secured four PCs that were involved in the attack, according to Yonhap. Users of the computers utilized in the attack were most likely unaware that their PCs were exposed to the virus while visiting a particular website or downloading a certain file.

Most of the websites that fell victim to the cyber attack have restored their services, while the police is trying to track down the original source of the virus.