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The Boston Globe

World

Hack shuts down banks, TV in South Korea

SEOUL — A cyberattack caused computer networks at major South Korean banks and top TV broadcasters to crash Wednesday, paralyzing bank machines and prompting speculation of North Korean involvement.

Screens went blank at 2 p.m., the state-run Korea Information Security Agency said, and more than seven hours later some systems were still down.

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Police and South Korean officials couldn’t immediately determine responsibility and North Korea’s state media made no immediate comments on the shutdown. But some specialists suspected a cyberattack orchestrated by Pyongyang. The rivals have exchanged threats amid joint US-South Korean military drills and in the wake of UN sanctions meant to punish North Korea over its nuclear test last month.

The network paralysis took place just days after North Korea accused South Korea and the United States of a cyberattack that shut its websites for two days last week. Loxley Pacific, the Thailand Internet service provider, confirmed the North Korean outage but did not say what caused it.

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