North Korea goes completely offline

North Korea goes completely offline: Report

Everett Rosenfeld | @Ev_Rosenfeld
2 Hours Ago

North Korea is having major Internet problems, just days after President Barack Obama promised a proportional response to the devastating hacks against Sony.

The country, which the FBI accused last week of the cyberattack, is suffering a total Internet outage that experts at DYN Research said is out of the ordinary, as first reported by North Korea Tech. According to the research firm, North Korea's Internet connectivity grew steadily worse beginning Sunday night, and then went completely offline Monday morning.

"I haven't seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before," Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at DYN Research, told North Korea Tech. "Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn't be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently."

In an interview with Re/code, Madory said that even typically strong connections are experiencing disruptions. (CNBC's parent NBC Universal is an investor in Re/code's parent Revere Digital.)

"They're pretty stable networks normally," he told Re/code. "In the last 24 hours or so, the networks in North Korea are under some kind of duress, but I can't tell you exactly what's causing it."

He added that there is no way to know if the outages are the result of an attack, or are just from maintenance or a power outage. Still, "given the timing," a cyberattack is worth considering, he told Re/code.

In a Friday media conference, Obama promised a response "at a place and time and manner that we choose," and he declined to rule out military force or economic penalties.

When asked for comment, a White House National Security Council representative told CNBC, "We don't have any new announcements on North Korea today."

"We aren't going to discuss publicly operational details about the possible response options or comment on those kind of reports in anyway except to say that as we implement our responses, some will be seen, some may not be seen," Marie Harf, a deputy spokeswoman at the State Department, said during a media briefing.

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince suggested that North Korea's loss of Internet connectivity may not necessarily be the result of U.S. action. In fact, he told the Journal, the country could have shut off its own Internet to assert control over its population or guard against cyberattacks. China—which provides Internet to the embattled nation—also could have taken North Korea offline in response to American pressure, he said.

Regardless of the reason behind the outage, some said it could present an opportunity:

—CNBC's Eamon Javers contributed to this report.


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