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North Korean hackers blamed for sweeping cyber attack on US networks

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"The NIS has been telling committee members that North Korea or a pro-North Korean force might be behind the cyber terror," a South Korean legislator told Yonhap. The statement has not been independently verified, and South Korean intelligence agency say the matter remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press has obtained a list of the targets in a coordinated attack last weekend on US networks. Included on the list are the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and the Nasdaq stock exchange. Many of the organizations appeared to have successfully blunted the sustained computer assaults, the AP said.

In South Korea, the sites of the presidential office, the defense ministry, and the National Assembly were saturated with access requests generated by malicious software on Tuesday, crippling server response to legitimate traffic, South Korea's Communications Commission said in a statement.

A test

Many analysts see the attacks as a test of the US government's ability to deal with a coordinated cyber-attack.

In late May, President Obama unveiled the details of an ambitious new cyber-security initiative, which he said would gird the nation’s infrastructure against digital threats. “We rely on the Internet to pay our bills, to bank, to shop, to file our taxes,” Obama said in a news conference. “But we’ve had to learn a whole new vocabulary just to stay ahead of the cyber criminals who would do us harm – spyware and malware and spoofing and phishing and botnets."

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