A lone American computer hacker, P4x has been disrupting the internet of North Korea, paralyzing the government-run websites. Aside from that, the hacker’s activities brought email traffic to a stop in a bid to avenge an earlier cyberattack by the Communist state against US security researchers.
For the past couple of weeks, those observing North Korea’s highly secured internet noticed that the country was facing major connectivity-related issues. Due to these connectivity problems, all of North Korea’s websites intermittently went offline.
In the isolationist state, just a small number of trusted officials and academics are permitted to use the World Wide Web. At the same time, only a small number of North Korean websites are connected to the wider global internet. The connectivity problems took out government communications and the national airline’s links to the worldwide booking system. (bizchina)
Experts suspected the hacks were being done in response to a recent spate of missile tests that have been carried out by Pyongyang, of which there have been six in recent weeks, raising alarm bells in the region and drawing condemnation.
But according to Wired Magazine, the DDoS attacks were not the work of the intelligence agencies of any of the world’s big players.
Instead, ‘one American man in a T-shirt, pyjama pants and slippers, sitting in his living room night after night, watching Alien movies and eating spicy corn snacks,’ was responsible, the magazine wrote, ‘periodically walking over to his home office to check on the progress of the programs he was running to disrupt the internet of an entire country.’ Daily Mail
Just over a year ago, an independent hacker who goes by the handle P4x was himself hacked by North Korean spies. P4x was just one victim of a hacking campaign that targeted Western security researchers with the apparent aim of stealing their hacking tools and details about software vulnerabilities. He says he managed to prevent those hackers from swiping anything of value from him. But he nonetheless felt deeply unnerved by state-sponsored hackers targeting him personally—and by the lack of any visible response from the US government.
So after a year of letting his resentment simmer, P4x has taken matters into his own hands. “It felt like the right thing to do here. If they don’t see we have teeth, it’s just going to keep coming,” says the hacker. (P4x spoke to WIRED and shared screen recordings to verify his responsibility for the attacks but declined to use his real name for fear of prosecution or retaliation.) “I want them to understand that if you come at us, it means some of your infrastructure is going down for a while.”