North Korea back from complete internet outage

DECEMBER 23, 2014

North Korea, currently suspected to be behind the hacking of Sony Pictures, reportedly experienced a complete Internet outage for hours before links were restored on Tuesday, a United States company that monitors Internet infrastructure said.

The New Hampshire-based Dyn said the reason for the outage was not known but could range from technological glitches to a hacking attack.

However, several US officials close to the investigations of the attack on Sony Pictures said the US government was not involved in any cyber action against Pyongyang.

Last Friday, US President Barack Obama vowed to respond to the major cyber-attack, which he blamed on North Korea, "in a place and time and manner that we choose."

Dyn said North Korea's Internet links were unstable on Monday and the country later went completely offline.

"We’re yet to see how stable the new connection is," Jim Cowie, chief scientist for the company, told Reuters.

"The question for the next few hours is whether it will return to the unstable fluctuations we saw before the outage."

North Korea is one of the most isolated nations in the world, and the effects of the Internet outage there were not fully clear.

Cyber-attack on South Korea

Meanwhile South Korea, which remains technically at war with the North, said it could not rule out the involvement of its isolated neighbour in a cyberattack on its nuclear power plant operator.

It said only non-critical data was stolen and operations were not at risk, but had asked for US help in investigating.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Tuesday the leak of data from the nuclear operator was a "grave situation" that was unacceptable as a matter of national security, but she did not mention any involvement of North Korea.