Bloomberg’s Jordan Robertson and Chris Strohm observe how the North Korean internet may have been downed by private hackers, revealing its vulnerability.
North Korea’s limited access to the Internet was restored after being cut off for hours, days after the U.S. government accused the country of hacking into Sony Corp.’s files.
The connection, which can be patchy, was restored after a nearly 10-hour outage, Dyn Research said on Twitter today. Two state-run news websites were working as of 11:30 a.m. local time, including that of the Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, which showed leader Kim Jong Un touring a catfish farm.
North Korea, which has four official networks connecting the country to the Internet — all of which route through China — began experiencing intermittent problems yesterday and today went completely dark, according to Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research in Hanover, New Hampshire.
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North Korea appears to be suffering from a relatively simple distributed denial-of-service attack that is causing temporary Internet outages, said Dan Holden, director of security research for Arbor Networks Inc., based in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Such attacks flood Internet servers with traffic to knock infrastructure offline. In North Korea’s case, the attack appears to be aimed at the country’s domain-name service system, preventing websites from being able to resolve Internet addresses, Holden said.
It’s unlikely the attack is being carried out by the U.S., as any hacker could probably spend $200 to do it, Holden said.