Category Archives: North Korea

NORTH KOREA’S INTERNET OUTAGE

North Korea’s internet has been restored after almost ten hours of internet outage. Despite the fact that it is no longer down, many netizens are still bothered after having found that North Korea’s internet is still intermittent. What makes this issue more controversial than it should be is that it happened in the wake of the contentious Sony network breach.

As what most people know, the entertainment industry and a number of political institutions, even the White House have been alarmed because of the recent cyber attack initiated by a group of hackers called Guardians of Peace against Sony’s network. The ‘Guardians of Peace’ claimed that they will immediately release more private documents and files that belong to Sony if the studio will release the movie, The Interview, on theatres at the 25th of December.

Many, of course, suspected that North Korea was behind it since it is quite obvious how offended the Pyongyang government had been over Seth Rogen’s upcoming film; and true enough, the FBI found out that North Korea was the country responsible for hacking into Sony’s computer network. The opposing party, however, claimed that they were just framed by the United States for the crime and what ought to be done is to investigate the cybercrime in depth. What is intriguing is that after a few days, North Korea made a statement saying that they have a clear and strong evidence that the United States’ administration is behind the creation of a ‘dishonest reactionary movie’. President Barack Obama made clear on Sunday that the act committed by North Korea was not anything which signifies war but an act of cyber vandalism which is very expensive. He confirmed that U.S. will respond to the security breach at the right time in its own terms.

As to why North Korea had its internet down for several hours can be attributed to many possibilities. The first possibility is that the United States might be involved in the said act. Obviously, this is a conclusion many people will swiftly jump into. Many people claim that North Korea’s internet outage may be a form of revenge by the U.S. against North Korea for the highly disputed Sony breach; however, this is yet to be proven. The next possibility as to why the internet outage occurred in North Korea could be because of the poor maintenance of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s infrastructure. This may be one of the reasons why the internet service has been disrupted all of a sudden. One router could have broken down and it might have caused the entire internet disruption. The third possibility is that China got involved in the drama of the whole thing by taking advantage of its role as North Korea’s internet access manager and gatekeeper. On the other hand, China is North Korea’s major ally, so it would not make much sense if the Sleeping Giant will do such thing. Lastly, it is also possible that North Korea shut down their own internet access to keep the public’s attention away from the controversies involving their country with the widely talked about Sony breach.

Whoever is to be blamed for the internet outage in North Korea remains unknown, but as far as damages go, North Korea’s netizens have not been bothered as much as those who had their files stolen from them by a group of hackers. North Korea’s citizens do not use internet as much as other countries. As a matter of fact, according to CloudFlare’s CEO, Matthew Prince, North Korea is among the countries that are least connected to the world.

Sources:

Feinberg, A. (2014). So Who Shut Down North Korea’s Internet? Retrieved from http://gizmodo.com/so-

who-shut-down-north-koreas-internet-1674589139

Wagstaff, J. (2014). Downing North Korea’s Internet not much of a Scalp.

Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/23/us-northkorea-cyberattack-outage-idUSKBN0K10HN20141223