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Internet connections crashed in North Korea on Monday Dec. 22. It remained unavailable for the next 9 hours. Certain speculations regarding a possible cyber attack are circulating among specialists and web watchers but the real cause hasn’t been identified yet.
The event occurred one week after the U.S held North Korea responsible for the cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, when hackers retrieved confidential information regarding unreleased films and some e-mails belonging to company executives. Some of the data was posted on Twitter, generating a powerful reaction from Sony who is now planning to sue the micro-blogging site for not stepping in.
The F.B.I considered that a reason why North Korea could’ve been involved was the release of Sony’s new comedy film entitled “The Interview”. The plot revolves around North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s assassination. Pyongyang has denied having anything to do with the cyber theft.
The White House and the State Department refused to reveal any information regarding U.S.A’s involvement in North Korea’s Internet outage. Kim Song, the North Korean diplomat denied having any information concerning this recent event.
Internet access is poorly permitted in North Korea. The number of people with access to computers is very small, and even those who do, can only connect to a domestic network that uses its own browsers, search engine and email program. Although the country has the means to provide its people with broadband Internet, only a limited, approved number of people are given the possibility of accessing the World Wide Web.
There are however, more than a million mobile phone users with a network that reaches most major cities. Despite this, North Koreans are not allowed to phone or to receive phone calls outside of the country.
Dough Mandory, the director of Internet analysis at based Dyn Research, a company that examines Internet connectivity reported that after the Internet problem was detected, matters degenerated even more, reaching a point where the country’s network was completely out of service.
He added that this could have been a software malfunction created through a cyber attack due to the fact that ordinary routing instabilities do not progress in such a manner.
There is also the speculation of China being involved in North Korea’s network malfunction, as a request made by the U.S. According to one official, China was asked by Administration officials to disable Pyongyang’s Internet routers and servers located in China and to expatriate North Korean hackers living in China.
When asked about China’s implication, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry stated that the United States and North Korea needed to resolve the matter between them.
Image Source: Computer World