North Korean Internet Outage Raises Prospect of Counter Cyber-Attack

North Korean Internet Outage Raises Prospect
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Just days after President Obama said the U.S. would launch a “proportional response” to North Korea for the devastating cyber-attack against Sony Pictures that caused the pulling of comedy “The Interview,” the Internet in North Korea has gone dark, according to a report on Monday.

Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at network-monitoring company Dyn Research, told Bloomberg News that the Internet outage is unlike “anything [he’s] seen before.”

‘‘The situation now is they are totally offline,’’ Madory said. ‘‘I don’t know that someone is launching a cyber-attack against North Korea, but this isn’t normal for them. Usually they are up solid. It is kind of out of the ordinary. This is not like anything I’ve seen before.”

The report does not specify what caused the outage.

“We have no new information regarding North Korea today,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told Bloomberg in an email. “If in fact North Korea’s Internet has gone down, we’d refer you to that government for comment.”

On Dec. 17 Sony pulled the Christmas Day theatrical release of “The Interview,” which follows a duo attempting to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, after hackers threatened a 9/11-like attack on theaters that screened the comedy. On Friday the FBI announced that it concluded North Korea was “responsible” for the attack, despite previous denials of involvement from the country.

At a press conference on Friday, Obama vowed that the U.S. would respond to the cyber-attack.

“They caused a lot of damage, and we will respond,” Obama said. “We will respond proportionally, and we’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose. It’s not something that I will announce here today at a press conference.”

UPDATE: In comments to the Associated Press later on Monday, a State Department spokesperson did not deny that the U.S. was involved in North Korea’s Internet outage.

“We aren’t going to discuss, you know, publicly operational details about the possible response options or comment on those kind of reports in anyway except to say that as we implement our responses, some will be seen, some may not be seen,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told the AP.

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  1. cadavra says:

    In a related story, John McCain is furious that we didn’t bomb the crap out of them.

  2. coyote says:

    Yeah baby!!!!

  3. Geosota says:

    Oh, did that feel good! The humiliation of being technologically bested by punks like North Korea was killing me. Please, when the Internet is restored, let every computer be locked into a streaming download of The Interview!

  4. DoNotTrustUSA says:

    The CIA was secretly at the Sony Studios in Culver City, CA back in October of this year to discuss whether or not to use North Korea as part of its storyline, what does that tell you?

  5. Brian Cooley says:

    AWW? Kim can’t frequent his family ?orn!

  6. Mia says:

    Finally, some retribution! That’s what North Korea gets!!! I hope our government is behind this. Now Sony needs to man up and release the “Interview”.

  7. Yes says:

    O’bama is AWESOME! He has saved our country from the demise of Republicans. GO O’BAMA! Take out their Internet! We are behind you.

    • Matt says:

      Such an ignorant comment. “Demise of Republicans” At least you “tried” to use the word “demise” correctly, oh well. Just another ignorant person bringing politics into an issue which has no political implications. You can politely see yourself out of this conversation thread with your political crap.

      • Pip says:

        This comment here is just a small reason why i don’t trust the average Republican. To say he tried to use the word Demise correctly i am assuming you are referring to his lack of a capitol letter? and as for the really off the wall comment of this having no political implications? are you kidding us. the DPRK albeit possibly, hacks Sony then calls the film an act of war and the GOP no not the Republicans lol try to censor the movie which is a breach of your first amendment rights which correct me if I’m wrong is what the Government is there to protect which is run by Politicians? Then within days their Internet suffers an outage! I think there is more of a political link here than you are willing to see!

        P.P.S i agree with this :)

        Quote:Yes says:
        December 22, 2014 at 1:56 pm

        O’bama is AWESOME!

  8. Micky Bitsco says:

    Now if their power will just go out and stay out for a long time.

  9. Bree says:

    This all has stemmed from lack of communication and distrust. The two most important things for a healthy relationship to thrive.

    • jhs39 says:

      North Korea is a completely closed country whose only ally is China. Kim Jong-un has absolute power and recently had government officials publicly executed for watching soap operas and his own uncle executed because he felt the man might be a political threat–or maybe because he didn’t like the way his uncle smelled–an official reason for the execution was never given. China can barely deal with North Korea at this point because Kim Jong-un is far more unpredictable and less open to reason than his father and grandfather were–there is simply no way we could have normal relations with North Korea and attempts to modify their behavior and lessen their isolation have always proven fruitless. Don’t you think South Korea would rather share its border with a country that doesn’t frequently threaten its complete destruction? South Korea has tried communication and direct food aid and cultural exchanges and whatever else they could think of but it always ends in failure.

  10. Cherry Zhang says:

    It looks like both of their computers are down.

    I really hope the USA is behind this.

    Unfortunately, I think Obama doesn’t have the balls to pull this off.

    He allowed ISIS to flourish, Putin to run amok in Eastern Europe, and North Korea to continually make threats against the US.

    Internationally and domestically he is in over his head. He ruined health insurance. My health insurance is up to $450/month from just $200/month. My car insurance is currently only $25/month (from Insurance Panda) and renter’s only $15/month (from Eagle)…both private enterprise… but who knows when Obama will try to step in and socialize that?

    Most likely, China (their provider) just cut off their connection.

    In the meantime, Kim will have to watch his porn from DVDs until the internet is reconnected.

    • jhs39 says:

      You seem to like the idea of war–I’m not sure what other options you could possibly be entertaining regarding Vladimir Putin and Isis. Do you think we should go to war with Russia over the Ukraine? Keep in mind that no American president has ever sent troops to protect an Eastern European country from the aggression of Russia or the Soviet Union–including your likely hero, Ronald Reagan. His brilliant strategy was to fund and arm violent Islamic fighters in Afghanistan to resist the soviet invasion–those Islamic fighters that Reagan armed and supported financially included Osama Bin Laden and they eventually became Al Qaeda. The people who launched 9/11 attacks against us were the same ones Reagan armed and funded in Afghanistan–something every Republican in the country likes to forget when they talk about what a fantastic president Ronald Reagan was and how his foreign policy was so forceful and effective. The Reagan administration also armed Saddam Hussein in his war with Iran and provided the chemical samples used to make the chemical weapons that were supposedly the reason we invaded Iraq after Reagan left office.

      Then there’s Isis. George W Bush invaded Afghanistan in 2001. The goal was to wipe out the Taliban but as soon as we leave the Taliban will take over the country again and everybody knows it. We have been in Afghanistan for 13 years and have accomplished nothing whatsoever. The invasion of Iraq resulted in an unstable country that is now close allies with our biggest middle east enemy–Iran. From an American foreign policy perspective the United States was much better off when Saddam Hussein was still in power–and that is an indisputable fact.

      If Isis is a threat why not let the Arab countries and Israel deal with it? Why do we have to be policeman to the world?

      • James says:

        Are you serious right now? “Why do we have to be policeman to the world?” Read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Just really think about what the U.S. stands for and the founding fathers. Had you not included your last statement, perhaps then, your logic would not have been nullified.

    • Fred Mertz says:

      The only thing on your facebook page are ads for insurance companies. And yet you still can’t get good healthcare. Kinda sounds like a troll to me.

  11. Joyce Conner says:

    Good. I hope their internet is down for months!! I hope this causes revenge when n.korea gets back online.

  12. Steve says:

    Cut the power to the little piggies frig

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