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South Korean ‘Whois Team’ attacks


Earlier today, reports of a number of cyberattacks against various South Korean targets hit the news.

The attackers, going by the handle “Whois Team” left a number of messages during the defacements:

The code used for defacement, posted by an anonymous user to the “” forum (see indicates several e-mails used by the attackers:

arrFadeTitles[0] = “[email protected]”;
arrFadeTitles[1] = “[email protected]”;
arrFadeTitles[2] = “[email protected]”;
arrFadeTitles[3] = “[email protected]”;
arrFadeTitles[4] = “[email protected]”;
arrFadeTitles[5] = “[email protected]”;

The screenshots from victim’s computers indicate the at “Wiper” type of malware was also used. We have previously written about two other “Wiper”-style malwares: Iranian Wiper and Shamoon.

So, is this an isolated incident or part of a bigger cyberwar campaign? Honestly speaking, we don’t know. If a nation state is NOT behind these attacks, then it’s just cyber-terrorism; cyberwar requires a nation state to be behind the attacks. In general, if the attacks target critical infrastructure, they can be considered cyber-terrorism. According to the definition of critical infrastructure, banks can be considered as such, therefore, this counts as a cyberterrorism attack.

Previous incidents like Stuxnet and Wiper were part of an ongoing cyberwar campaign that went for years, although in a more stealthy fashion.

Obviously, the attacks were designed to be ‘loud’ – the victims are broadcasting companies and banks. This makes us think we are not dealing with a serious, determined adversary but script kiddies or hacktivists looking for quick fame.

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