Korean Hackers attacking an election watchdog’s Website

Police on Thursday backed off from their earlier position on financial transactions between those accused of attacking the election watchdog’s Web site in October and a former aide to the house speaker from the ruling party, saying part of the money may have been a reward for the attack.

The police, a day earlier, confirmed that the former aide of National Assembly Speaker Park Hee-tae transferred 10 million won (US$ 8,605) to another lawmaker’s aide surnamed Kong, the alleged culprit, and 90 million won to one of Kong’s accomplices before and after the attack conducted on Oct. 26, the day of by-elections for the Seoul mayoralty and many other government seats.

They said, however, the transactions were irrelevant to the hacking crime, dismissing mounting public suspicion that lawmakers of the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) were behind the attack aimed mainly at a liberal candidate for the Seoul mayoralty.

“A lie detector test on the speaker’s aide surnamed Kim on Wednesday indicated that the 10 million won given to Kong may have been a reward for carrying out the hacking,” a chief police investigator told reporters, leaving the possibility of the GNP’s greater involvement open.

Giving other grounds for the belated suspicion, he said the transfer was the first bank transaction between the two and Kim did not even get a promissory note in return.

However, the 90 million won sent to the computer expert surnamed Kang was unlikely to be a reward, the police repeated.

The hacking paralyzed the Internet sites of the National Election Commission (NEC) and the liberal candidate Park Won-soon for two hours on the day of the by-elections. Park won the Seoul mayoralty despite the attacks.

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