Does North Korea have the resources to have mounted the ongoing cyber attacks on the US and its southern neighbour?

That's the question being asked in Washington and Seoul today as the wave of distributed denial of service (DDOS) assaults continued for a fifth day.

At least 27 American and Korean official and commerical websites have been targeted in the attacks, which started on Independence Day (July 4), according to the New York Times.

Korean zombies

The brute force attacks used zombie bot-nets to disrupt websites at the Treasury Department, Secret Service, Federal Trade Commission and Transportation Department earlier this week, and the White House confirmed that it had also been targeted.

The South Korean National Intelligence Service said: "This is not a simple attack by an individual hacker, but appears to be thoroughly planned and executed by a specific organization or on a state level."

South Korea's Defense Security Command says that the country's defense networks are attacked an average of 15,000 times a day by hackers and hit with viruses another 80,000 times, and believes that North Korea is behind many of them - possibly with the help of China.

Yonhap reports that South Korea has just announced plans to bring forward the creation of its own military command to tackle the threat of cyber attacks, from 2012 to next year, specficially to deal with digital threats from North Korea.