Seoul (ANTARA News/Yonhap-OANA) - South Korea on Monday outlined a nationwide cyber security strategy following a series of recent online attacks on state-run and corporate websites, including net offensives allegedly launched by North Korea.

The country`s move comes as the latest incidents of cyber attacks and online data theft around the world pose greater threats to both the private and the public spheres, prompting global state actors, including the United States, to devise a new government-led strategy to beef up their net security.

"Cyber attacks have become a threat to citizens` properties and national security," the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said in a joint statement with ministries and government agencies.

"Cyberspace will be considered another operational domain like the nation`s territories on land, air and sea that need a state-level defense system."

According to the commission, the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the country`s spy agency, will play the role of control tower. The KCC, along with the defense and home affairs ministries, will be tasked respectively with private sector security, national defense and protecting the safety of the government`s computer system.

South Korea introduced its first national master plan on online security following the so-called distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in 2009 that blocked access to dozens of government-run and private websites for hours.

The NIS accused North Korea of launching the 2009 computer attack and other similar DDoS assaults in March 2010. The North denied the allegations.

Hacking, online data theft and computer system breaches have been rampant through this year, with the most recent case involving the theft of 35 million individuals` personal information from SK Communications Co., the operator of South Korea`s third-most visited Web portal.

Earlier this year, cyber attacks that authorities attributed to communist North Korea also prevented roughly 30 million people from conducting financial transactions for days. In that instance, hackers grabbed financial information and the private data of nearly 2 million customers of Hyundai Capital Services Inc.

The KCC said that the country`s national cyber security will focus mostly on defense. Its efforts will be divided into preventing, detecting and responding to cyber assaults, rather than making preemptive offensive moves, the statement said.

"We will also try to secure a deterrent against cyber provocations by reinforcing international collaboration," the statement said.

Major global companies, including Sony Corp. of Japan and Citigroup Inc. of the U.S., have become victims of online hacking and subsequent theft of user data this year. In June, Google Inc. said it discovered China-originated online spying campaigns into Gmail accounts.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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