It may have been karma or the United States telling the rogue Korean state who is the boss in the aftermath of the Sony hack fiasco, but North Korea went off the grid on Monday and made the Internet sizzle.
North Korea's Internet is going suspiciously haywire http://t.co/HbMTNAOrXp— jenni beattie (@jennibeattie) December 23, 2014
Though there has been no comment from the authorities in Pyongyang, South Korean officials confirmed that Internet access to the North's official Korean Central News Agency and the Rodong Sinmun newspaper had resumed on Tuesday.
Though the two media entities are back online, the few hours of downtime created quite a buzz. It was largely suspected to be a cyber attack.
There are no clues as to who, if anyone, was behind it.
U.S. President Barack Obama had vowed on Friday to respond to the major cyber attack, which he blamed on North Korea, "in a place and time and manner that we choose."
Washington, last Thursday, requested China's help, asking Beijing to shut down servers and routers used by North Korea that run through Chinese networks, senior administration officials told Reuters.
The United States also asked China to identify any North Korean hackers operating in China and, if found, send them back to North Korea. It wants China to send a strong message to Pyongyang that such acts will not be tolerated, the officials said.
However, by Monday, China had not responded directly to the U.S. requests.
Dan Holden of Arbor Networks, a network defense firm, thought all the technical evidence shows that the North Korean outage was more likely a denial of service attack (DDoS) – an intentional network traffic jam orchestrated by hackers.
“Much like a real-world strike from the U.S., you probably wouldn’t know about it until it was too late. This is not the modus operandi of any government work,” he wrote in a blog post.
The Internet, on the other hand, has a mind of its own:
No internet in #NorthKorea ..whoa, all those 3 people who had it must really be suffering now..— sevanand gaddala (@sevanand) December 23, 2014
North Korea loses its Internet, possibly in retaliation for a hack it may not have done— Paola ? (@Polamnt) December 23, 2014
We put North Korea on Internet probation ????— Chief Lotza Bo (@bolastname) December 23, 2014
Damn. We shut off North Korea. Probably hired a kid to do it.— Ace (@0fficialAce) December 23, 2014