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Cyber attacks costing Korea over $800m

A South Korean police officer walks by a gate at Cyber Terror Response Center of National Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. North Korea is to blame for cyberattacks on the websites of South Korean media companies and the president and prime minister's offices on the June 25th Korean War anniversary, a South Korean investigation found Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

A South Korean police officer walks by a gate at Cyber Terror Response Center of National Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. North Korea is to blame for cyberattacks on the websites of South Korean media companies and the president and prime minister's offices on the June 25th Korean War anniversary, a South Korean investigation found Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Published Oct 15, 2013

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Seoul - North Korea has staged thousands of cyber attacks against the South in recent years, causing financial losses of around $805-million, a Seoul lawmaker said on Tuesday citing government data.

“A lot of data related to our national infrastructure, including chemical storage facilities and information relating to personal financial dealings have been stolen,” ruling party MP Chung Hee-Soo said.

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Using information provided by the Defence Ministry's cyber warfare unit, Chung told parliament that the South Korean military alone had been the target of 6 392 North Korean cyber attacks of varying scale since 2010.

The included website intrusions, malware deployments and the use of virus-carrying e-mails.

“Our military's cyber warfare ability to fend off such attacks...is incomparable to the North's, which is known to be one of the world's best,” Chung said.

North Korea is believed to run an elite cyber war unit of 3,000 personnel, while the South has only 400 specialised staff.

As well as military institutions, recent high-profile cyber attacks have targeted commercial banks, government agencies, TV broadcasters and media websites.

The resulting financial damage since 2009 amounts to some 860-billion won ($805-million), Chung said.

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North Korea has denied any involvement and accused Seoul of fabricating the incidents to fan cross-border tension. - AFP

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