News You Really Need To See: “Attack Is Suspected as North Korean Internet Collapses”

“Attack Is Suspected as North Korean Internet Collapses”

The New York Times, December 22, 2014

“A strange thing happened to North Korea’s already tenuous link to the Internet on Monday: It stopped.  While perhaps a coincidence, the failure of the country’s computer connections began only hours after President Obama declared Friday that the United States would launch a ‘proportional response’ to what he termed an act of ‘cybervandalism’ against Sony Pictures.  Over the weekend, as North Korean officials demanded a ‘joint investigation’ into the Sony attacks and denied culpability — an assertion the United States rejected — Internet service began to get wobbly.  By early Monday, the Internet went as dark as one of those satellite photographs showing the impoverished country by night.  Experts who monitor the health of the global Internet called it one of the worst North Korean network failures in years.  But American officials who had described over the weekend how they were intensely focused on the country’s telecommunications connections through China — and how they had asked the Chinese government for help in cutting off the North’s ability to send malicious code around the world — declined to discuss what befell those connections. … But as the sun rose in North Korea on Tuesday morning, the few connections to the outside world — available only to the elite, the military, and North Korea’s prodigious propaganda machine — were still out.  Those connections to the outside world are managed by Star Joint Ventures, the country’s state-run Internet provider, and almost all of them run through China Unicom, China’s state-owned telecommunications company.  They were not operative on Monday, but the causes could include a cyberattack by the United States — something American officials have said they would be hesitant to do if it meant infringing on Chinese sovereignty.  It is also possible China Unicom simply unplugged its neighbor.”

Quickie Analysis:  How odd 🙂.

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