The American hacker says he completely disabled the internet in North Korea last month, according to the Wired portal.
Observers have reportedly noticed clear internet outages in North Korea that began a few weeks ago. At one time, not all websites in the country, of which there are only a few dozen, did not seem to work. The outage came shortly after North Korea conducted a series of missile tests, leading some experts to question whether the outages were caused by cyber attacks from a foreign country.
P4x, a nickname used by a mysterious hacker, told Wired that it attacked the “rogue state” in retaliation for North Korea’s hacking campaign last year, which targeted Western security researchers, including him.
The North Koreans tried to steal hacker tools and information about vulnerabilities, although P4x said they failed to obtain anything of value.
The hacker’s allegations cannot be independently verified, but Wired says they spoke to P4x, which shared screenshots to prove the attack. P4x refused to use its real name for fear of persecution or reprisals.
P4x says it has found a number of known but unfixed bugs in North Korean systems that allowed it to launch denial of service attacks on servers and routers that many of the country’s internets depend on (a so-called DDoS attack). For the most part, he refused to disclose these bugs that he exploited to Wired, but he cited an example of a known vulnerability that could be exploited to disconnect from servers.
According to experts, very few North Koreans have access to Internet-related systems, and most of the sites affected by the recent outage were mostly used for government propaganda.