South Korea’s Grand National Party (GNP) is in turmoil after party members were linked to online attacks against the websites of the country’s election regulator a leading opposition candidate on the morning of October’s by election.
The websites were brought down by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. In the case of the National Election Commission, the attack made it harder for voters to find poling stations.
Last Friday, an assistant of Choi Gu-sik, a GNP national assembly member, was arrested on suspicion of ordering the DDoS attack, and today confessed to Korean police. The Korean Times reports that the assistant, who is identified only by his family name Gong, worked with three accomplices to bring down the websites.
Gong reportedly told Korean police that he "assumed making it hard for young voters to find polling stations would drive down voter turnout since I thought young votes may swing the result," the Yonhap News agency reported.
Korean police said that Gong’s confession may not be reliable, and the Economist’s Banyan blog reports that although Mr Choi is denying any involvement in the hacking, Mr Gong did make six phone calls with to the secretary of the GNP’s chairman on the morning of the hacking.
The Korean Times also reported that police are checking phone records of the four suspects, as well as tracing bank transactions and tracking their movements before and after the cyber attack.