North Korea didn’t get a direct mention during President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 20, but Obama did take on the issue of computer hacking — something that has been put on the U.S. agenda since the November 2014 attack on Sony Pictures.
The U.S. government has blamed North Korea for the action and he mentioned nation-state attacks during the speech.
“No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids,” Obama said. “We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber More >
Hackers have hit a Facebook page for North Korean airline Air Koryo replacing it with messages in support of Islamic State militants and against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The page shot to fame earlier in the year when it began replying to user comments and questions about trips to North Korea. It claimed to be the airline’s official page, but appeared to be run by an Air Koryo agent in Russia.
The hack came a day after a similar attack on the Facebook and Twitter pages of U.S. Central Command. Hackers typically gain access to Facebook accounts by tricking users into giving away More >
The U.S. government has announced additional sanctions on North Korea as a result of the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures.
The sanctions are the first official U.S. response to the attack, for which the investigation continues but North Korea has already been named responsible by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In announcing the measures, President Obama said they were being imposed for “the provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies of the Government of North Korea, including its destructive, coercive cyber-related actions during November and December 2014, actions in violation of UNSCRs 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094, and commission of serious human rights abuses.”
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.
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.
The outage followed a larger one on Saturday evening that appears to have begun at around 1040 UTC (7:40 p.m. More >
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.”
Earlier in the week, the U.S. More >
What a difference a week makes. The Christmas Day release of “The Interview” is back on and Sony has already begun offering the movie online.
The movie, a comedy in which two TV reporters embark on a secret mission to kill Kim Jong Un, appeared on YouTube and Google Play on December 23 at 1pm ET. It costs $5.99 to rent for 48 hours and $15 to own.
Google said that it was first approached by Sony on December 17, on the same day that is announced it would More >
North Korea’s powerful National Defense Commission responded with its first statement on the Sony hack and accusations by the U.S. that it was responsible. The statement was read out on Voice of Korea, the country’s international shortwave radio service, and makes interesting listening.
It’s not exactly the same as the text statement that was carried on KCNA and appears to be a slightly different translation.
The most noticeable thing about the statement is how much the NDC appears to be picking up from cues in the U.S. media. Many of its arguments are similar to those being debated in public:
- Killing a head of state, More >
North Korea’s Internet connection with the world has returned to service after a nine and a half hour outage that followed hours of patchy performance.
The cause of the outage is unknown, although several experts think it was probably due to an external distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This involves flooding web servers and other Internet hardware with so much traffic that they become overloaded and cannot respond to legitimate traffic. It’s not an actual hack of the system and so the situation is normalized soon after the DDOS flow of traffic stops.
Dyn Research provided this graph of the attack that shows More >
It’s been a busy few days for North Korea watchers. After a couple of weeks of no solid news on the Sony hack, the FBI has finally released a few details from its preliminary investigation
That’s great news because there has been a lot of confused reporting on the case. The leaks from the FBI have generally come through national security reporters, not computer security reporters, so we’ve seen a number of differing claims:
There was general confusion about the common hacker practice of routing traffic through compromised machines in other countries. Here are some headlines from last week:
- Evidence in Sony hack attack More >