Members of the Anonymous hacking group say they are planning to re-launch attacks on North Korean websites from Sunday. [Updated. See below.]
In messages posted to Twitter, several Anonymous members said the “#OpNorthKorea” attacks would resume on May 12 from 1am GMT, that’s 10am in the morning Pyongyang time.
OpNorthKorea first began in late March, shortly after North Korean media said relations between it and South Korea were “at a state of war.” It took the form of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which involves flooding a website with so many requests for data that it becomes overloaded.
The attacks were successful in taking several major Pyongyang-based websites offline including Naenara, Korean Central News Agency, Air Koryo and Voice of Korea.
This next round of attacks are targeted at all websites that are run from Pyongyang, according to Twitter messages.
Missing from the Twitter list is Uriminzokkiri, the China-based site that hosts official media and produces its own propaganda.
Uriminzokkiri was hacked by Anonymous resulting in the defacing of its website and the leaking of names, addresses and email addresses of its 15,000 members.
In reaction to the hacking, Uriminzokkiri claimed that South Korea’s government and in particular the National Intelligence Service was actually behind the attack. There’s no evidence that is the case, but it does fit in with the North’s propaganda aims of blaming such incidents on the government of the South.
After the previous attacks, North Korea was seen to adjust its national connection to the Internet, adding a new link to China Unicom’s network in Hong Kong.
The connection appears to be an attempt to mitigate the DDoS attacks, but whether it works or not won’t be known until Sunday’s attacks begin.
North Korea Tech has a widget on the right-hand side of the home page that indicates whether major North Korean websites are online or offline.
Anonymous had previously said it would relaunch attacks on June 25, which is the the day in 1950 when the Korean War began.
A hit list of North Korean sites was also published, but it appeared to be based on an out-of-date list. Several of the sites listed have not been in operation for several years.
Seconds after this story ran, and apparently by coincidence, the Anonymous hacker listed above posted a Twitter message including Uriminzokkiri and other China-based websites.