North Korea’s Internet goes Offline

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DEVELOPING – Just days after the U.S. government accused North Korea of hacking Sony Corp’s computers, outages have occurred to North Korea’s internet, eventually going completely offline. The country has four official networks that connect them to the internet, all of which are ran through China. The connections began experiencing problems yesterday, and as of today it officially went black, according to Doug Madory, director of Internet Analysis at Dyn Research in Hanover, New Hampshire.

U.S. President Barack Obama said last week that Sony Pictures Entertainment had suffered significant damage and vowed to respond. North Korea warned yesterday that any U.S. punishment over the hacking attack on would lead to a retaliation “thousands of times greater.” North Korea has said it doesn’t know the identity of the hackers — who call themselves “‘Guardians of Peace’’ — claiming responsibility for breaking into Sony’s computer network and divulging internal e-mail messages.

The situation now is they are totally offline,

Madory said. “I don’t know that someone is launching a cyber-attack against North Korea, but this isn’t normal for them. Usually they are up solid. It is kind of out of the ordinary. This is not like anything I’ve seen before.

Because of the attack on the Sony computers, Hollywood secrets were released, data was destroyed, and the company had to cancel the release of “The Interview”, a comedy about the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim-Jon Un. The hack also caused thousands of Sony computer’s to be inoperable and caused the company to shut down their network.

The outage probably isn’t a cut of a fiber-optic cable, which would be shown in an immediate loss of connectivity, and other possible explanations include a software meltdown on North Korea’s Web routers or denial-of-service hacking attacks, Madory said.

Today, Marie Harf (a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department) told reporters in Washington that she can’t confirm reports of any cyber-attacks on North Korea and won’t say what steps the U.S. might take in response to the hack on Sony.

“We are considering a range of options in response,” Harf said at a State Department briefing. “Some will be seen. Some may not be seen.”

While North Korea has four networks connected to the Internet, the U.S. has more than 152,000 such networks, according to Dyn Research.

“We have no new information regarding North Korea today,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan wrote in an e-mail today. “If in fact North Korea’s Internet has gone down, we’d refer you to that government for comment.”

China has started an investigation into a possible North Korean role in the Sony hacking following a request from the U.S. government, a person with direct knowledge of the matter has said. The foreign ministry will cooperate with other Chinese agencies including the Cyberspace Administration to conduct a preliminary investigation, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the probe hasn’t been made public.

The internet outage was earlier reported on the North Korean Tech blog.

For Further Reading:
Sony Hack: President of U.S. Vows responsibility for FBI Claims


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