North Korea Hacked Him. So He Took Down Its Internet

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danbrennan

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Mar 13, 1999
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Yay!
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https://www.wired.com/story/north-korea-hacker-internet-outage/

For the past two weeks, observers of North Korea's strange and tightly restricted corner of the internet began to notice that the country seemed to be dealing with some serious connectivity problems. On several different days, practically all of its websites—the notoriously isolated nation only has a few dozen—intermittently dropped offline en masse, from the booking site for its Air Koryo airline to Naenara, a page that serves as the official portal for dictator Kim Jong-un's government. At least one of the central routers that allow access to the country's networks appeared at one point to be paralyzed, crippling the Hermit Kingdom's digital connections to the outside world.
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But responsibility for North Korea's ongoing internet outages doesn't lie with US Cyber Command or any other state-sponsored hacking agency. In fact, it was the work of one American man in a T-shirt, pajama pants, and slippers, sitting in his living room night after night, watching Alien movies and eating spicy corn snacks—and periodically walking over to his home office to check on the progress of the programs he was running to disrupt the internet of an entire country.

Just over a year ago, an independent hacker who goes by the handle P4x was himself hacked by North Korean spies. P4x was just one victim of a hacking campaign that targeted Western security researchers with the apparent aim of stealing their hacking tools and details about software vulnerabilities. He says he managed to prevent those hackers from swiping anything of value from him. But he nonetheless felt deeply unnerved by state-sponsored hackers targeting him personally—and by the lack of any visible response from the US government.

So after a year of letting his resentment simmer, P4x has taken matters into his own hands. “It felt like the right thing to do here. If they don’t see we have teeth, it’s just going to keep coming,” says the hacker.
 

gramps

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Jul 5, 2009
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mankato, mn
Hacking North Korea's government sites seems risky when they already knew enough to have targeted you first. :eek:

was thinking the same thing. Hopefully nut job doesn’t now have a specific “testing” area (address) he’s going to launch anything that goes boom towards.
 

tom3

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Aug 1, 1999
14,506
ohio
Trouble is, now they know their system is open for attack they'll get their daddy China on the ball and have better protection put in their systems.
 

danbrennan

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I get the feeling the hacker doesn't travel much. If the DPRK attack a US citizen on US soil, that's an act of war. But yeah, traveling overseas could be risky for him/her.

Yes, it occurred to me too that this reveals to the DPRK what their vulnerabilities are. Could be counterproductive, and I wonder if that was a factor in the US government not responding. Maybe our intelligence agencies were getting good info out of the DPRK's network as it was, and did not want to invite scrutiny. But what's done is done.
 

gramps

Veteran Member
Jul 5, 2009
2,003
mankato, mn
I get the feeling the hacker doesn't travel much. If the DPRK attack a US citizen on US soil, that's an act of war. But yeah, traveling overseas could be risky for him/her.

Yes, it occurred to me too that this reveals to the DPRK what their vulnerabilities are. Could be counterproductive, and I wonder if that was a factor in the US government not responding. Maybe our intelligence agencies were getting good info out of the DPRK's network as it was, and did not want to invite scrutiny. But what's done is done.

I wonder about that....I mean the us just went in and took out some dude in the Middle East. But that’s not an act of war?
 

danbrennan

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Mar 13, 1999
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I was not enthused about getting involved in the Syrian civil war, and I think there should have been an AUMF from Congress. Apparently we're saying we have right to self defense - https://www.csis.org/analysis/us-ai...legal-authorities-and-presidential-war-powers . Seems to me to be reaching a bit. The War Powers Act needs to be revisited, I think.

But yeah, I can imagine the Assad government saying they're at war with the US, although I suppose some of the Syrian rebels would disagree.
 
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