The Empire Strikes Back? North Korea Knocked Off Internet

Following last week's North Korean cyberattack on Sony and a vow by the U.S. to take action, today that promise seems to have been fulfilled. According to industry analysts, the entire country of North Korea has been "disconnected" from the global Internet.

Over the past twenty-four hours, North Korea has been experiencing intermittent Internet connectivity, culminating with a complete detachment for a period of more than nine hours.

Nine Hours Offline

"After 24hrs of increasing instability, North Korean national Internet has been down hard for more than 2hrs,EU Industry analyst firm, Dyn Research, posted on its Twitter feed, before extending that period to more than nine hours in a subsequent Twitter post (See below).

Just prior to the start of intermittent connection problems, U.S. President Barack Obama stated in a TV interview that the North Korean attack on Sony was merely an act of EUcybervandalism,EU and not an act of war.

Yet, previously, Obama had stated that the U.S. would respond to the North Korean attack, and that such attack would be EUproportionate.EU

Seen and Unseen

When asked directly about whether todayEUs disruption of North KoreaEUs national Internet connection was a response by the U.S., State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was evasive.

"We aren't going to discuss -- you know -- publicly, operational details about the possible response options or comment on those kind of reports in any way, except to say that as we implement our responses, some will be seen, some may not be seen,EU she said.

Some network security experts expressed doubts regarding the cause of the Internet takedown. Some even hypothesized that it was North Korea itself that temporarily removed its Internet connections as a way to thwart U.S. attempts to launch cyberattacks.

The Genie is Out of the Bottle

In any event, a counterattack like the one that presumably disrupted North KoreaEUs Internet service today...

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