North Korea’s Websites Appear to Have Mysteriously Gone Down Again

  • For at least the second time this month, all of North Korea’s websites appear to have gone down. 
  • Experts have said the outages may be the result of cyberattacks against North Korea, though there are other possible explanations.
  • North Korea saw intermittent outages around Jan. 14 that crippled all of the country’s websites.

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 websites for North Korea’s state-run media outlets, apparently first went down sometime before six in the morning, NK News senior analytic correspondent Colin Zwirko reported.

This outage follows a period of intermittent outages that began on Jan. 14 and continued into the following weekend, with outages lasting several hours.

During those outages, North Korean servers were unreachable, according to NK News, a news organization dedicated to following developments involving North Korea.

The way the connections failed suggests North Korea’s IT infrastructure was 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 outage,” he said.

Internet outages are not exactly uncommon in North Korea, which knocked government and state media sites offline with a botched software update last year. Outages can also be the result of domestic power outages or other local infrastructure issues, but the nature of the recent outages struck experts as unusual.

“If it was an electricity outage, I think the routes would have gone immediately as the router lost power,”Ali told NK News.

“There were connection timeouts issues, high data loss — then the routers dropped,” he explained. “That would suggest to me that some form of network stress caused this to happen.”

Another research, Nicholas Roy, told the outlet that “someone either messed something up really bad, like Facebook did a couple weeks ago, or it could be some kind of attack.”

While there has been some speculation that the outages could be the result of actions taken by the US, China, or someone else at odds with North Korea, experts have been reluctant to assign any responsibility given the unknowns surrounding them.

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