North Korea is notorious for being the world’s worst internet blackhole — a vast majority of people there don’t have online access and only government officers are allowed to use it for official purposes.
That’s probably why tech analysts were left confused after spotting a Facebook clone being hosted by the country.
“It’s very unusual to have websites hosted in North Korea,” Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at Dyn told CNNMoney, adding North Korean sites usually are hosted in China. “[I’m] not sure this was an official North Korean government project. But someone inside the country had to have done this.”
The website called the "Best Korea's Social Network,” reportedly allowed people to register and then upload their profile picture, videos, add friends, etc., just like Facebook — from all across the globe.
Scottish teenager Andrew McKean told Mortherboard he logged into the website’s backend by simply using “admin” and “password” as the login details.
An inevitable fake Kim Jong-un profile was also created:
However, as the world debated the possibility of North Korea finally allowing its people to access social media, the site was hacked and taken down.
Martyn Williams from the North Korea Tech blog suspects the project could have been a government project: “It could even have been a trial that was inadvertently made public.”
This is not the first time news of a Facebook-like website in North Korea has generated headlines. In 2013, the Associated Press’ Jean Lee discovered an unnamed social network in the hermit kingdom, which was “more of an intranet bulletin board” and “used largely to post birthday messages, especially among university students and professors.”