The New York Times points out that law enforcement officials across the world are still puzzled by the source of the cyber-attacks that shut down or slowed down websites in South Korea and the US.
Most experts have pointed a finger at North Korea, which is facing global sanctions due to its missile tests. The nation is also facing acute shortages of food and a transition of its leadership.
The trouble is that, despite the great sophistication of internet investigation technologies in the US. no one has been able to find the source of the attacks. To make matters worse, no one is certain how to protect against them, which means that they will happen again.
The attacks on Asian and American websites were remarkably successful. The Internet has become such an important part of business operations around the world and the consumer’s access to information and entertainment that any action that shuts down critical parts of that system has the opportunity to be devastating, particularly if the attack can repeated over the course of several days. Damaging the functions of part of the Internet even has the chance of hurting major businesses and the government. Access to federal websites is critical to everything from retrieving SEC documents to registering for federal health and service benefits.
Whether the attackers are from North Korea, if they have vicious intent their actions can be repeated many times.
Douglas A. McIntyre
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