A military officer in an electronic library at the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School, an elite military school on the outskirts of Pyongyang, in 2013.
Whoever or whatever was blocking North Korea's Internet connection isn't doing so any more, according to multiple Internet experts.
The Hermit Kingdom, which didn't have much in the way of Internet traffic to begin with, went completely offline in mysterious circumstances earlier Monday. The outage lasted for a grand total of 9 hours and 31 minutes, reported the networking analysts at New Hampshire-based Dyn Research:
North Korea's Internet restored after 9 hour, 31 minute outage: pic.twitter.com/ZQ3IrRXbyn— Dyn Research (@DynResearch) December 23, 2014
Worth noting: all Internet traffic leaves North Korea via China Unicom.
While nobody knows who blocked access for the four networks and 1,024 IP addresses in the country, the consensus is clear: it wouldn't have taken much. The attack appears to have been a relatively simple distributed denial of service, or DDoS — the kind of thing just about any experienced hacker could launch.
Fingers have been pointed at both China and the United States. Last week, a White House spokesperson said the president was mulling a "proportional response" to the Sony Pictures attack and e-mailed threats, which the FBI believes originated in North Korea.
But signs point to someone other than the U.S. being responsible. “If the U.S. government was going to do something, it would not be so blatant and it would be way worse,” Dan Holden, director of security research for Arbor Networks, told Bloomberg. "This could just be someone in the U.S. who is ticked off because they’re unable to see the movie.”
Given that China controls North Korea's access, this could also turn out to be a slap on the wrist from Kim Jong-un's sponsors and protectors in Beijing. China is also currently trying to persuade North Korea to slow its nuclear weapons program.
Tags: NORTH KOREA, THE INTERVIEW, US & World, WORLD