Via the New York Times:
North Korea’s already tenuous links to the Internet went completely dark on Monday after days of instability, in what Internet monitors described as one of the worst North Korean network failures in years.
The loss of service came just days after President Obama pledged that the United States would launch a “proportional response” to the recent attacks on Sony Pictures, which government officials have linked to North Korea. While an attack on North Korea’s networks was suspected, there was no definitive evidence of it.
Doug Madory, the director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research, an Internet performance management company, said that North Korean Internet access first became unstable late Friday. The situation worsened over the weekend, and by Monday, North Korea’s Internet was completely offline.
Gee, I wonder what happened. Perhaps Kim Jong-un tripped over the extension cord?
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 A large number of connections had been withdrawn, “showing that the North Korean network has gone away,” Matthew Prince, CloudFlare’s founder, wrote in an email.
Although the failure might have been caused by maintenance problems, Mr. Madory and others said that such problems most likely would not have caused such a prolonged, widespread loss.
The failure follows requests by the Obama administration to China seeking its help in blocking North Korea’s ability to wage cyberattacks, an early step toward the “proportional response” that Mr. Obama promised, as well as a broader warning to others who may try similar attacks on American targets in the future, senior administration officials have said.
The loss of service is not likely to affect the vast majority of North Koreans, who have no access to the Internet. The biggest impact would be felt by the country’s elite, state-run media channels and its propagandists, as well as its cadre of cyberwarriors.
If the attack was American in origin — something the United States would probably never acknowledge — it would be a rare effort by the United States to attack a nation’s Internet connections. Until now, most operations by the United States have amounted to cyberespionage, mostly to collect defense information or the communications of terrorism suspects.
This is what happens when you fuck with the big dogs.