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An apparently sophisticated and coordinated cyber attack has caused widespread disruption to computer networks and three of South Koreas largest broadcasters and two of the country’s banks.
The attack first showed itself at 2pm on Wednesday when computers at KBS, MBC and YTN shutdown. Upon restarting, the computers displayed error messages saying they were unable to boot. Apparently the boot record or entire operating system has been removed from the computers.
ATMs and online banking service at Shinhan More >
Last week’s Internet outage that pushed North Korean websites offline for almost two days was probably caused by a problem inside the country, not on an external connection, an Internet researcher said Monday.
“The impacted equipment was within North Korea,” said Doug Madory, a senior research engineer at Renesys. On Friday, he published a detailed look at the way the outage looked from the network level.
North Korea is connected to the Internet via two links and because the problems were observed on both connections, it stands to reason the problem was on the North Korean side, he said.
Data traffic instability on both More >
There were no other details of the tests included in the report, which was carried by the Korea Computer Center’s Naenara portal as part of an article on upgrades to the country’s telecommunications systems.
“On the basis of the trial introduction of digital TV broadcasting last year the ministry is working to lay the material and technical foundation for applying it stage by stage while developing programs and introducing facilities,” the report said.
State media isn’t believed to have reported on the trials in the past.
A switch More >
The Internet disruption that affected North Korea’s Internet link earlier this week lasted almost two days, an Internet monitoring company said Friday.
It began just before 0100 GMT on Wednesday — that’s 10am local time — and continued for much of the next day and a half. It then took several hours for traffic levels and response times to get back to normal, said Internet network monitoring company Renesys.
The country typically relies on a link via China Unicom to connect to the rest of the world and this disappeared from global routing tables when the outage began, said Renesys. Routing tables are constantly More >
North Korea’s state-run news agency accused the U.S. and its allies of being behind a series of cyberattacks that have forced its web sites offline for much of the last two days.
“Intensive and persistent virus attacks are being made every day on internet servers operated by the DPRK. These cannot be construed otherwise than despicable and base acts of the hostile forces consternated by the toughest measures taken by the DPRK after launching an all-out action,” the news agency said in a commentary.
The report represents the first recognition by North Korean state media of the cyberattacks.
The handful of web sites More >
Fresh from becoming the first person to tweet and Instragram on Koryolink’s new 3G data service, Associated Press Korea Bureau Chief Jean Lee was at the SXSW Interactive event to speak about social media in the DPRK.
She’s a great person to speak to on the subject.
Her pioneering posting as the first accredited correspondent of any western news organization in Pyongyang has seen her make numerous trips to the country. The opening up of the 3G network to tourists and then a few weeks later data service for foreigners — a story she broke — was widely followed.
As with just about More >
North Korea’s KCNA news agency carried some images on Thursday of what it claims is North Korea’s latest computer.
The machine, called “Noul” (노을), was developed by Noul Technology Joint Venture and it targeted at industrial applications, KCNA said. It’s available in two models: one with a 5.7-inch screen and one with a 10.4-inch screen.
The KCNA report said it’s already in use at Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex, Huichon Power Station, Pyongyang Cornstarch Factory and other facilites. Its life it twice that of a conventional PC in an industrial environment because it’s shielded from temperature, humidity, rays and vibration, reported KCNA.
The daily Rodong Shimun More >
Russia’s ITAR TASS news agency says problems experienced on Wednesday connecting to North Korean web sites was down to a cyberattack. [Updated, see below]
The report, which is datelined from Pyongyang, is just two sentences long and offers no evidence or details for the assertion. It’s credited to an unnamed and unidentified “informed source.”
“Internet resources of the country have come under a powerful hacker attack from abroad,” the news agency reported.
The lack of information makes it difficult to weigh the claim and the unwillingness of the source to go on-record adds a doubt.
In the past South Korea has quickly blamed North Korea for More >
All of the North Korean web sites that target audiences outside of the country were in accessible Wednesday morning Korean time.
The reason isn’t clear.
Reports of a single server being inaccessible are common, but the site will often come back online within a few minutes or hours. It’s presumed those single outages are usually for maintenance or a reboot of the computer on which the site runs.
This time the outage is more widespread.
The small handful of web servers in North Korea is connected to the rest of the world via two links: a main link through China Unicom and a satellite backup More >
The North Korea YouTube List, a listing of YouTube channels carrying DPRK-related content, has been updated. The new version includes a couple of newly discovered channels, reordering with the most watched channels at the top and the separation of dormant channels that haven’t seen an upload in the last six months.
The “DPRK Music” channel, which apparently comes from a user in Russia, is still the most watched channel with an impressive 11.7 million views for its 286 videos. The second most watched channel, the “DPR of Korea Official” channel (which doesn’t come from the government, despite the name) has 7.6 More >