North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (front) attends a military drill in Pyongyang.
Photograph by KCNA/Reuters/file
December 22, 2014

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By Sam Frizell, TIME

North Korea’s Internet connectivity went dark Monday, just days after President Obama warned the U.S. would launch a “proportional response” to the attack against Sony.

The hermit country’s Internet access first became unstable late Friday and worsened over the weekend, the New York Times reports. By Monday, North Korea’s Internet was completely offline. Doug Madory, the director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research, said that the network failure in North Korea appeared to be a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, in which hackers flood a network with traffic until it collapses.

“Their networks are under duress,” Mr. Madory told the Times. “This is consistent with a DDoS attack on their routers.”

The White House declined to comment to the Associated Press on Monday. In the past, most U.S. cyber operations have reportedly been aimed at collecting defense operations or obtaining communications between terrorism suspects.

North Korea has just 1,024 Internet protocol addresses, compared with the United States’ billions of addresses, so the attack won’t affect the majority of the country’s residents.


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