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South Korean banks, media report network crashed

Computers networks at two major South Korean banks and three top TV broadcasters went into shutdown mode en masse Wednesday, paralyzing bank machines across the country and prompting speculation of a cyberattack by North Korea. Screens went blank promptly at 2 p.m. (0500 GMT), with skulls popping up on the screens of some computers — a strong indication that hackers planted a malicious code in South Korean systems, the state-run Korea Information Security Agency said. Some computers started to get back online more than 2 ½ hours later. Police and South Korean officials investigating the shutdown said the cause was not immediately clear. But speculation centered on North Korea, with experts saying a cyberattack orchestrated by Pyongyang was likely to blame. The shutdown comes amid rising rhetoric and threats of attack from Pyongyang in response to U.N. punishment for its December rocket launch and February nuclear test. Washington also expanded sanctions against North Korea this month

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