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Posts by Martyn Williams
Al Jazeera’s “Fault Lines” takes on North Korea in its latest episode, scheduled for broadcast on Al Jazeera America on January 19, 2015, at 9pm ET.
The 30-minute program called “Hidden State: Inside North Korea,” is based around a 2014 reporting trip to the country by Teresa Bo. Bo is a former Latin American correspondent for the network and now works on the award-winning documentary series. More >
The U.S. National Security Agency had access to internal North Korean computer networks before the attack on Sony Pictures, according to a report by The New York Times. That access enabled the U.S. to conclude, with confidence, that North Korea was responsible for the hack on Sony.
The report quotes interviews with former U.S. and foreign officials, computer experts briefed on the matter and an intelligence agency document that was recently published by the German news magazine Der Spiegel.
The New York Times doesn’t go into any technical details on the level of access or how it was done, but the document does. More >
Will Scott, the American that spent a semester teaching computer science at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, spoke about his experiences this week at the Chaos Computer Club’s annual conference in Hamburg.
Scott, who has just returned from the second trip to PUST, went into detail on the IT environment at the university, availability of the Internet, access to computers and cell phones, and his observations on Red Star Desktop 3.0, the latest version of North Korea’s home-grown Linux operating system.
The State Department said Monday that it remains confident in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s conclusion that North Korea was responsible for the cyber attack on Sony — despite a growing number of voices saying that might not be the case.
There has been some skepticism about North Korea’s involvement since the first reports earlier in December and that has increased in the last week.
- Linguistic analysis of the English suggests a Russian speaker, not a Korean
- The IP addresses used by the hackers were on compromised machines that could have been used by anyone.
- One of the latest reports suggests that a former Sony employee might have been involved, with a small group of others.
The operating system is being offered as a 2.6 gigabyte ISO file, which means it will look like a CD or DVD install disc to most modern operating systems. The operating system can be directly installed from the ISO file and requires about 10 gigabytes of disc space.
I installed mine inside a Virtual Machine — a piece of software that allows it to run inside a window as an application on my laptop — but it’s possible to also run it as the main operating system on a computer.
The installation process is relatively easy. I have most of the main screens below and those that aren’t shown can be clicked through.
The latest version of North Korea’s home-grown desktop operating system, Red Star Linux 3.0, was uploaded to BitTorrent on Monday.
A link to a download file was included in a message on Pastebin that was uploaded by someone who goes by the nicknames “slipstream” and “raylee,” that’s the same person who released the server version of Red Star Linux 3.0 earlier this year.
That previous release was a version for computer servers while this latest release is intended for use on conventional PCs.
I’ve posted an install guide and will have more on the applications in the coming days.
North Korea’s Internet connection with the world suffered outages on December 27 and December 28.
The latest instability on the connection began around 0400 UTC (1 p.m. local time in Pyongyang) on Sunday and continued for a couple of hours, according to monitoring by Dyn Research. The U.S.-based organization recorded several instances in which connections to the four sub-networks that make up the North Korean Internet were completely unavailable.
North Korea has accused the U.S. of disrupting its Internet service and has renewed a call to participate in a joint investigation into claims that it hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment.
[UPDATE: English recording of Voice of Korea added below.]
The country’s websites were offline for more than nine hours on December 22 after an apparent denial of service attack.
In a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency on Saturday, the country’s National Defence Commission laid blame for the Internet problem at the feet of the U.S., saying the country “started disturbing the internet operation of major media of the DPRK.” More >