Suspected Cyberattack Takes Down North Korea’s Internet

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According to reports from North Korea Tech, via Vox, a suspected cyberattack has led to frequent outages.

Security company Dyn Research has published a chart illustrating the connection problems currently being suffered by North Korean websites. Although outages do not offer definitive proof of a cyberattack, because of minimal internet traffic in the secretive nation, it would offer an explanation for the issues.

An easy revenge attack against North Korea?

“It would not take much to shut down such access since they are not privy to diverse and redundant Internet routes,” Jeff Bardin, Chief Intelligence Officer of internet security company Treadstone 71 told Business Insider. “This would be a fairly easy action by a nation state to bring NK’s internet activity to a halt.”

North Korea has been in the spotlight of late, with the White House officially blaming its government for the recent Sony Pictures hack. Just a few days ago President Obama claimed that the U.S. response to the attack would be “proportional,” and a revenge cyberattack is certainly possible.

Director of Internet analysis Doug Madory, of Dyn Research, added: “I haven’t seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before. Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently.”

Denial of service

According to Madory the attack is “consistent with a DDoS attack on their routers.” DDoS refers to a Distributed Denial of Service attack, which places increased pressure on a network by forcing large amounts of web traffic through it. High levels of traffic can force the network offline if it is not built to handle it, which would seem to be the case for North Korea.

Matthew Prince, CEO of CDN CloudFlare, thinks that the attack has proved fatal for internet access in North Korea, claiming that “the North Korean network has gone away.”

Although North Korea has consistently denied any involvement in the Sony hack, which led to the cancellation of the release of Seth Rogen comedy The Interview, the White House is seemingly convinced that it was responsible. Has Kim Jong-un bitten off more than he can chew in provoking the U.S.?

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