Hacktivists Hit North Korea Social Networks

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Anonymous and US hacker Jester get juvenile on North Korean services

Hacktivist group Anonymous and another notable US hacker have claimed hijacks of Twitter and Flickr accounts belonging to an official North Korean body, and hit a number of state websites.

Anonymous has issued various threats against North Korea over the past month, in retaliation for the nation’s increasingly aggressive rhetoric against its southern neighbour and the US. Just this week, North Korea said it would re-open one of its nuclear weapons facilities.

Hacktivists angry at North Korea

Anonymous © Rob Kints Shutterstock 2012The hacktivists, as part of Operation Free Korea, now claim to have not only taken over social sites belonging to Uriminzokkiri, the North’s propaganda machine, but also hit government websites. Meanwhile, American patriot hacker “th3j35t3r” (“the Jester”) claimed to have attacked the national airline Air Koryo.

Anonymous shoved up a number of its own tweaked photos on the Flickr account, including a “wanted” poster of Kim Jong-un with an image of the North Korean leader with a pig snout and ears, accompanied by the following text: “Threatening world peace with ICBMs and Nuclear weapons/Wasting money while his people starve to death.”

The Twitter feed, which has close to 15,000 followers, posted links to the Flickr account, as well as the simple message: “Hacked.”

Not that many North Koreans would have seen what was going on – very few have access to the global Internet, whilst the nation’s “Internet” is very limited, with only a handful of government-run sites available.

North Korea is also suspected of directing recent malware attacks at a number of the South’s notable institutions, including some TV networks.

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