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Zombie computers in DDoS attack begin to destroy own hard drives

Sixty-two hard disc drive destructions were reported as of Sunday among an estimated 34,000 zombie computers mobilized to carry out massive cyber attacks on the web sites of South Korea's key government agencies and financial institutions on Friday and Saturday, government officials said.

The web sites of about 30 government agencies and financial institutions came under a so-called "distributed denial-of-service" (DDoS) attack for a second day on Saturday but suffered minor damage, thanks to the distribution of anti-virus programs and government alerts on the cyber attack, officials at the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said.

An engineer checks computer systems at a company in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap News)
An engineer checks computer systems at a company in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap News)

The zombie computers were forecast to destruct their respective hard drives four or seven days after they had been hit by the malicious codes. The earlier-than-expected damage, however, came on the heels of new orders that were led by servers that spread out the DDoS attacks.

The new orders block zombie computers from downloading vaccine programs and order the computers to instantly destruct their respective hard drives.

Government authorities urged computer users to start their computers in safety mode and download vaccine programs to cure the DDoS codes.

Police authorities said they have contacted overseas law enforcement agencies in eight countries -- including Japan, Taiwan and the United States -- for cooperation in order to track down the DDoS attacks and analyze the computer codes. (Yonhap News)

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