South Korea has put its cyber security team on high alert after news of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il broke today.

According to a report from Korean news agency Yonhap, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has “raised the cyber alert to the third highest level as of 2 pm”. The heightened state of emergency will see the agency step up its monitoring of possible DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks and increase its scanning of possible hacking incidents and other Internet-based assaults which it believes it may weather following the news.

As well as raising its vigilance of possible cyber attacks, the organisation has warned Korean Internet users to avoid opening emails relating to the North Korean leader’s death, particularly any that originate from unknown senders.

South Korean officials have voiced their concern at being on the receiving end of a number of cyber assaults from its neighbour this year, which included the take down of the computer system belonging to the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation in April. The North has, however, denied its involvement.

The government in the South has also led regular crackdowns on individuals that praise the North Korean regime in its web space. The situation went “beyond what can be tolerated within the freedom of expression” in October, which lead state official to step up their investigation of the issue and the users alleged to be posting the messages.