South Korea: North Suspected Of Cyber Attack
An investigation is under way into the simultaneous shutdown of computer networks at several major broadcasters and banks in South Korea, with suspicion falling on North Korea.
The shutdown came days after North Korea blamed the South and the US for cyber attacks that temporarily closed websites in Pyongyang.
While the cause was not immediately clear, there has been speculation of a possible North Korean cyber attack.
Officials at the two South Korean public broadcasters KBS and MBC said that all computers at their companies blacked out - but did not cause any damage to their daily TV broadcasts.
YTN cable news channel reported that the company's internal computer network was completely paralysed.
Local TV showed workers staring at blank computer screens, and at one coffee shop employees asked for cash, saying their credit card machine was not working.
The state-run Korea Information Security Agency confirmed that computers at at least five South Korean companies were down. The agency was investigating what caused the outage.
Shinhan Bank, a lender of South Korea's fourth-largest banking group, said the bank's system, including online banking and cash machines, had stopped working.
The company was unable to conduct any transactions with customers at bank windows, including retail banking and corporate banking.
Tensions between the neighbouring countries are high following North Korea's recent nuclear test and the UN sanctions that followed.
Accusations of cyber attacks on the Korean Peninsula are not new. Seoul believes Pyongyang was behind at least two cyber attacks on its companies in 2011 and 2012.