Find out who’s behind the attack

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Find out who’s behind the attack

The National Police Agency has concluded that a former aide of Grand National Party Representative Choi Ku-sik acted alone in organizing the distributed denial-of-service attack that disrupted the Web sites of the National Election Commission and liberal opposition candidate Park Won-soon on Oct. 26, the day of the Seoul mayoral by-election.

Before the case was referred to the prosecution, the police said that the 27-year-old secretary and chauffeur to Choi, surnamed Gong, had persuaded his friend, who happened to be a computer technician, to bombard the home page of the NEC to keep voters from searching for their polling stations, hoping this would lower turnout and help GNP candidate Na Kyung-won.

The police announced that even though they searched bank accounts, credit cards, e-mails and phone conversations for any trace of involvement from those of higher rank, they could not find any substantial evidence implicating others.

Few would believe that the aide of a lawmaker is alone responsible for such an audacious crime. Gong is said to have ordered Kang - the computer expert - to launch the cyberattack against the election watchdog by making just one international telephone call after a few drinks, as if citing a scene from a crime movie.

Gong allegedly proposed the idea of a cyberattack to an aide of the National Assembly speaker during drinks on the night before the by-election and also had dinner with an official from the Blue House before the drinks. Gong is said to have told his hometown friends that he would have to take full responsibility for the attack even though he did not come up with the idea on his own.

But police nevertheless hastily closed the case, raising suspicions that they may be protecting people who outrank them. Police explained that they did not have enough time to thoroughly investigate the case. According to the law, police must wrap up their investigations and forward their cases to prosecutors within 10 days of a suspect’s arrest.

It is now up to the prosecution to work in the public’s interest to get to the bottom of the case and clarify any suspicions surrounding it, especially given the political repercussions it could have. Given the hypersensitive nature of the case, it may require an investigation by the legislature or a special prosecutor. But a special investigation would be unnecessary if the prosecution shows it is determined to restore its credibility through a transparent and thorough investigation.
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