Posts tagged Naenara
A new round of attacks against North Korean websites began Saturday, causing several to become unavailable.
The attacks appear to be part of a loosely coordinated effort by hackers to target North Korean sites after the country’s state-run media said relations with South Korea were “at a state of war.”
As of 3pm Korean time (0600 UTC) on Saturday, attempts to contact the Naenara, Korean Central News Agency, Air Koryo and Voice of Korea all failed.
The sites were hit with an apparent DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack in which the web servers are flooded with so much junk traffic from hackers that they become overloaded and cannot handle requests from normal users.
On Twitter, messages were being grouped with the #OpNorthKorea hash tag.
Some apparently calling for attacks on certain sites.
And others marking the successful takedown of a website.
At time of writing the third site on that list, korea-dpr.com, is still available. The site is the home page of Alejandro Cao de benos’ Korean Friendship Association and appears to be hosted in The Netherlands.
It’s impossible to know who is really behind the attacks, but judging by Twitter messages the cyber call to arms appears to have attracted a small group of people.
The attacks began several hours after state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said “From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations.
The statement is the latest in an increasingly hard line of rhetoric from the DPRK. The last few days have seen North Korea directly threaten to attack the United States and its military bases while the U.S. has flexed its muscle by overflying South Korea with a B-52 and B-2 bomber.
Despite the heightening tensions, many observers don’t expect the DPRK to follow through with its threats and many again believe any such attack would attract a swift and hard response by South Korean and/or U.S. forces.
North Korea’s state-run websites began on Saturday printing Kim Jong Un’s name in a style previously reserved for Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
The Korea Central News Agency, Voice of Korea and Rodong Sinmun started using a heavier or larger font when spelling out his name.
Here’s how it looked on the KCNA website on Saturday. If you look closely you’ll see Kim Jong Un’s name appears slightly larger.
Not only had KCNA started using the additional coding, it had gone back through its database of stories and adjusted each instance of Kim Jong Un’s name.
And here are the Voice of Korea:
And Rodong Sinmun website:
Naenara, a portal operated by the Korea Computer Center, isn’t updated as frequently and still had Kim Jong Un’s name in the conventional font.
Back in July I explained how North Korean websites use a code in the page’s hypertext markup language (HTML) to name the names appear larger and more prominent. That had not been used for Kim Jong Un until Saturday.
The move coincided with the introduction of the title “supreme commander” for Kim Jong Un and a large commentary in the Rodong Sinmun.
“We will complete the great task of our songun revolution by upholding Comrade Kim Jong-un as our supreme commander, our general,” — Rodong Sinmun, Dec. 24, 2011.
The commentary was widely viewed as an indication that Kim Jong Un’s succession to become leader of North Korea is on track.
“The state-run media’s call for Kim Jong-un to lead the military suggests that, at least for now, he is on pace to take full control of the country,” — New York Times, Dec. 24, 2011.
South Korea has begun blocking Naenara and several of its sub-sites. The move comes days after the site reactivated its dot-kp North Korean domain name and plugs a long-standing hole in South Korea’s cyber wall against North Korean online propaganda.
The blocking, first reported by Yonhap, results in South Korean Internet users being redirected to the National Police Agency’s warning site (pictured right.)
It has also taken out the Korea Sports Fund’s Faster Korea page, an out-of-date page for the Pyongyang International Trade Fair, and the sites of the Cholsan Patent and Trademark Agency and Koryo PAT Rainbow patent agency.
Naenara is produced by Pyongyang’s Korea Computer Center and consists largely of news and information about North Korea. It’s available in nine languages: Korea, English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic.
The site was previously available via a server in Germany, but it disappeared in 2010 when North Korea’s dot-kp domain names also went offline. The site returned in late October, via a server that appears to be in North Korea. This week its dot-kp domain name was reactivated.
Despite its carriage of Korean-language news and propaganda from the north, the site remained available in South Korea for just-over two months since late October.
South Korea’s blocking doesn’t seem to have affected access to friend.com.kp, the home page of North Korea’s Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. The site appears to be hosted on the same server as Naenara, so the blocking doesn’t appear to be at the IP address level.
The North Korean Website List has been updated to reflect the new blocking.
North Korea’s Dot-KP domain name system returned to the Internet in the last few days. (See the bottom of this post for updates.)
Offline for months, the service has resumed via servers run by Star JV, the Internet joint venture formed by the North Korean government and Thailand’s Loxley Pacific. As reported previously, dot-kp was run by the KCC Europe operation in Germany but went offline in the third quarter of last year.
Two websites are already available via KP domain names. Both are hosted on the same web server. The first, Naenara, has been available for a few months via an IP address and the second, Friend.com.kp, has been offline since its domain name disappeared. You can find out more about each site in The North Korean Website List.
I’ve done a little digging around in the DNS (domain name system) records for KP and found the following eight KP top-level domains have been prepared for future use: net.kp, com.kp, edu.kp, gov.kp, org.kp, rep.kp, tra.kp and co.kp.
Both Naenara and Friend are already using com.kp. A domain name has been prepared for the Star Internet provider: star.net.kp, and one for the state-run Korea Posts and Telecommunications Co.: kptc.kp. I can’t find any other registered domain names at present.
The site also appears to be available via a Chinese name, www.kp.col.cn, but I have no details on that name or how it relates to the site.
UPDATE 2: My story at PC World: North Korean Domain Names Return to the Internet
North Korea’s Naenara website is back. The site went offline around early September when the dot-kp domain name space went down.
Naenara is run by Pyongyang’s Korea Computer Center and offers news, photos, shopping, tourism information and MP3 files from North Korea.
It’s running inside North Korea’s recently-activated domestic IP address space, but isn’t working perfectly. Some of the links point to dot-kp addresses, which are still not working. It’s worth keeping an eye on.
You can find it at http://22.214.171.124/en/