North Korea Is Currently Experiencing A ‘Massive Internet Outage’

Senior Editor
12.22.14 45 Comments
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (L) appl

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In the wake of the Guardians of Peace hack attack against Sony, which the US publicly blames on North Korea (something not everyone believes), President Obama publicly threatened a “proportional response” against the North Koreans. And now that North Korea is suffering one of its “worst internet outages in recent memory,” many are wondering if this is retribution from the US.

“I haven’t seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before,” said Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research. “Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently.” [North Korea Tech]

I really hope this isn’t our “proportional response.” In a country where only the top party officials can even count on electricity for most of the day, and all reading material is subject to tight censorship, us shutting down North Korea’s internet would be like North Korea telling us we can’t put lipstick on our horses.

North Korea does very little commercial or government business over the Internet. The country officially has 1,024 Internet protocol addresses, though the actual number may be somewhat higher. By comparison, the United States has billions of addresses.

North Korea’s addresses are managed by Star Joint Venture, the state-run Internet provider, which routes many of those connections through China Unicom, China’s state-owned telecommunications company.

By Monday morning, those addresses had gone dark for over an hour.

CloudFlare, an Internet company based in San Francisco, confirmed Monday that North Korea’s Internet access was “toast.” A large number of connections had been withdrawn, “showing that the North Korean network has gone away,” Matthew Prince, CloudFlare’s founder, wrote in an email. [NYTimes]

As for your Interview release update, reports have said that Sony was planning to release it on Crackle, which Sony denied. Independent theaters wrote an open letter wanting to screen the film, and BitTorrent offered their services. Meanwhile, a Sony lawyer told Meet the Press that the film will be distributed. It’s just that no one knows when our how yet. But at least now we know the North Koreans won’t be torrenting it in between playing basketball with Dennis Rodman and grinding up bark to make bread. USA! USA! USA…

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