- For at least the second time this month, all of North Korea’s websites appear to be down.
- Experts said the outages could be the result of cyberattacks on North Korea, although there are other possible explanations.
- North Korea experienced intermittent outages around January 14 that crippled all websites in the country.
North Korea seemed to disappear from the web for a period on Tuesday, an NK News reporter first noticed. Insider also found that several North Korean sites appeared to be down.
North Korean domain names ending in “.kp”, which include North Korean state media websites, were apparently shut down for the first time before 6 a.m., the senior analytics correspondent for NK News, Colin Zwirko.
—Colin Zwirko (@ColinZwirko) January 25, 2022
This outage follows a period of intermittent outages that began on January 14 and continued the following weekend, with outages lasting several hours.
During the outages, North Korean servers were inaccessible, according to NK News, a news agency dedicated to tracking developments involving North Korea.
The way the connections failed suggests that North Korea’s IT infrastructure has been hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack, cybersecurity researcher Junade Ali told NK News earlier this month. .
“North Korea suffered a total internet blackout,” he said.
Internet outages are not exactly uncommon in North Korea, which took government and state media sites offline with a botched software update last year. The outages can also be the result of household power outages or other local infrastructure issues, but the nature of the recent outages struck experts as unusual.
“If it was a power outage, I think the routes would have disappeared immediately because the router lost power,” Ali told NK News.
“There were connection timeout issues, high data loss – then the routers went down,” he explained. “That would suggest to me that some form of network stress caused this.”
Another researcher, Nicholas Roy, told the outlet that “someone really messed something up, like Facebook did a few weeks ago, or it could be some kind of attack.”
Although there has been speculation that the blackouts could be the result of actions taken by the United States, China or someone else at odds with North Korea, experts have been reluctant to attribute any responsibility given the unknowns surrounding them.