ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Terror On The Internet

Updated on July 26, 2010

Cyber attacks July 2009

Cyber-terrorism can be defined as an assault on computers and computer networks via the World Wide Web using electronic means. Some people may consider the word terrorism too strong; however, cyber attacks have crippled some of the world’s most powerful governments and affected some technically advanced corporations. Put in that perspective, terrorism just may be an understatement.

An assault that began on July 4, 2009 continued unmitigated until July 10, 2009 and is believed to have infected computers in at least nineteen countries with networks in South Korea being the most affected. In terms of the extent of damage, South Korea was followed by the United States, China, Japan, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

A denial of service (DoS) or distributed denial of service is anattack that is characterized by the overwhelming of specific Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) servers with useless traffic. The July 2009 cyber attacks flooded targeted networks with numerous and unnecessary requests; this DoS led to computer outages on many of these networks. Unable to handle the high volume of traffic, and in an effort to mitigate damage or loss of data, some businesses and government departments shut down completely for several days.

Japan and South Korea are reported to have the world’s fastest and second fastest Internet networks, respectively. South Korea was one of the major targets of the July 2009 cyber-terror attacks. There was speculation that the reason Japan and South Korea were affected was because their advanced and high-speed IT infrastructure made it easy for the rapid and wide spread infection of networks in these two countries.

What is known is that, the DoS were caused by zombie computers linked in a network called a “botnet.” By most reports, the zombie computers that were used to carry out these attacks were located in more than one country, including some of the countries that suffered casualties. However, researchers are divided as to the level of sophistication of the attacks, and the estimates of the number of computers used in the attacks range from 60,000 to 100,000 systems.

Some analysts believe that the attacks were high-level government-sponsored cyber warfare, intended to sabotage specific government computer infrastructure. The United States National Intelligence Service released a statement saying, “this is not a simple attack by an individual hacker, but appears to be thoroughly planned and executed by a specific organization or on a state level.” In contrast, the head of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Rod Beckstrom, believes that the attacks were too unorganized to have been orchestrated at the government level and stated “the attacks lacked sophistication and were just a ‘basic hack job’ that a smart teenager could have launched.”

Cyber-security investigators around the globe worked diligently in an attempt to identify the source. Authorities in the United States forwarded copies of the malicious code to Internet security experts to have the digital fingerprints analyzed; the objective was, if not to identify the perpetrators, then, hopefully to thwart future attacks.

If the authors of the attack are discovered, how can they be punished, what law have they violated? Perhaps the investigators’ time and energies would be better spent trying to prevent future attacks. The World Wide Web makes Internet users vulnerable to many viruses, computer espionage, and other elements that can be harmful to their IT infrastructures. It is unlikely that cyber terrorism will ever be completely eradicated; however, by working together, governments can mitigate the damage caused in future attacks such as the one that took place in July 2009.


Robertson. (2009). JapanToday. Japan News and Discussion Experts work to untangle U.S., S Korea cyberattacks. Retrieved July 19, 2009, from

Sang-Hun, Choe and Markoff, John. (2009). The New York Times. Technology. Cyberattacks Jam Government and Commercial Web Sites in U.S. and South Korea. Retrieved July 19, 2009, from


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • equealla profile image


      8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Sometimes opposites are not nice. Dark/light, up/down, left/right etc, are things that we can cope with. But I have a problem with the good/bad part. Some of those bad ones are real nasty's, are they not?

      I know, I know, we can write sixty phylosophical hubs about the benefits of good/bad. Still.... bad is not nice!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)