Posted on October 25, 2021 at 4:19 PM
KT, a South Korean telecommunications company, has suffered a nationwide outage following a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. The outage happened on October 25 and has affected most, if not all, of the firm’s major processes.
The result of this DDoS attack is that the firm’s operations have been significantly affected. It has led to a nationwide disruption of the firm’s daily operations that require connectivity. The attack has led to disruptions in online classes, food delivery orders, and some hospitals also failed to access patient records.
KT Network Nationwide Outage
The nationwide outage on KT Network happened on Monday and lasted for about one hour. Following the outage, many speculated that it could be due to a cyberattack. The local authorities also sent several cybercrime investigative units to the company’s headquarters in the South of Seoul.
However, the cybersecurity firm stated that it did not find any traces of a DDoS attack. The company later released a statement stating that the outage did not result from a DDoS attack. The company stated that the outage seemed to have resulted from routing mistakes. A routing error on a firm’s operations can cause problems in connectivity when transmitting and rerouting IP addresses from the internet.
The telco company stated that it was still researching the cause of the nationwide outage. The firm also apologized to its users for the inconvenience it had caused following the routing error.
”We are promptly responding to the situation by operating the firm’s risk management committee. We will do our best for a quick recovery,” the firm stated in an announcement. The company also stated that it held an emergency meeting to assess whether the police investigation into the matter would proceed or not.
The network outage led to many losses for not only the company but also its users. The company’s users lost access to the internet and phone services. The outage also inconvenienced online and mobile trading services.
The other firms that were also inconvenienced in the attack included retail stores using KT’s network to enable payment services. The outage led to these firms failing to process credit card payments. Hence, customers were required to make payments using cash or direct bank transfers for the entire time that this network was down.
The largest inconvenience was felt by students who were taking online cases due to the restrictions put on because of the pandemic.
The firm’s services were restored in the afternoon. The services for both wired and wireless networks were restored to normal operations. However, the restoration did not happen nationwide because some people in specific regions stated that their phone calls still failed to go through.
KT Telco is one of the largest telecommunication firms in South Korea. Data from the Ministry of Science and ICT shows that around 14.3 million people in the country rely on this company for internet service. This number is expected to be even larger because the Science and ICT ministry data was collected earlier this year.
Moreover, it is not the first time that KT has suffered a network outage. In 2018, the network suffered another major outage after a fire was detected on the firm’s Ahyeon location in Central Seoul. The fire caused disruptions in the network’s internet and phone services. Some of the areas that were impacted following this 2018 outage include Jung-gu, Yongsan-gu and Seodaemun-gu.
DDoS Attacks on the Rise
While the company confirmed that the outage was not caused by a DDoS attack, it does not take away the fact that telecommunication companies have increasingly become victims of these attacks.
These attacks recently targeted the US after a major DDoS attack was targeted at Bandwidth. Bandwidth is a leading internet and phone service provider, and the DDoS attack led to major disruptions. The attack also led to other VoIP carriers who relied on Bandwidth services to be affected.
Yandex, a Russian technology giant, also recently suffered the largest DDoS attack. The attack lasted for almost a month, but the issue was averted. Most DDoS attacks are usually carried out by financially motivated threat actors. The REvil hacking group has been the most notorious with DDoS attacks in large tech companies, demanding ransomware to solve the issues.
Microsoft Azure cloud services platform was also recently a victim of a DDoS attack. However, the firm stated that it could prevent these attacks from getting worse because of a proactive protective measure installed in the system.