North Korea Hacked Him. So He Took Down Its Internet

from Wired

FOR THE PAST two weeks, observers of North Korea’s strange and tightly restricted corner of the internet began to notice that the country seemed to be dealing with some serious connectivity problems. On several different days, practically all of its websites—the notoriously isolated nation only has a few dozen—intermittently dropped offline en masse, from the booking site for its Air Koryo airline to Naenara, a page that serves as the official portal for dictator Kim Jong-un’s government. At least one of the central routers that allow access to the country’s networks appeared at one point to be paralyzed, crippling the Hermit Kingdom’s digital connections to the outside world. 

Some North Korea watchers pointed out that the country had just carried out a series of missile tests, implying that a foreign government’s hackers might have launched a cyberattack against the rogue state to tell it to stop saber-rattling. 

But responsibility for North Korea’s ongoing internet outages doesn’t lie with US Cyber Command or any other state-sponsored hacking agency. In fact, it was the work of one American man in a T-shirt, pajama pants, and slippers, sitting in his living room night after night, watching Alien movies and eating spicy corn snacks—and 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.

More here.

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  1. In this article, North Korean spies attempted to steal tools and software from an independent hacker called P4x. He was deeply upset by this and couldn’t understand why the United States was not challenging the breach of privacy. In retaliation, he took the drastic step of hacking into North Korea’s internet. The hacker caused severe connectivity problems throughout the nation and identified various vulnerabilities within the North Korean systems. Although this was a substantial act of “revenge,” hacking is a predominant issue in the society we live in today.
    Hacking is an extremely dangerous act of stealing sensitive information and unauthorized access to business systems. Hackers can damage or erase data. In addition, they can steal your credentials and cause further harm. One of the most common hacking occurrences is called a ransomware attack.
    My prior high school was recently a victim of ransomware a couple of years ago. Our entire computer system went through a cyber-attack and hackers took over the network. Our students couldn’t access a portal called Genesis, very similar to Blackboard that we have at Seton Hall University. The hackers took data hostage from the entire public school district and kept it locked. This affected thousands of students and eventually, the issue was resolved. The FBI calls ransomware the fastest growing malware threat in America. Hacking should be taken seriously and computer systems have to be careful.

  2. This article is an illustration of what happens when you are hacked if you live within the United States of America. The anonymous independent hacker who goes by the name of Px4 proved that although he has been hacked by North Korean spies who were trying to steal tools and software from him, the American government and protection agencies did not do anything to retaliate against the North Korean hackers.
    Hacking is not an act that should be taken lightly by anyone let alone the government of the United States, it can cause data leakages, financial loss, privacy breaches via camera, or they can erase all the stored information on a hard drive. This can cause serious damage to intellectual property followed by vulnerabilities to the victim of the hack.
    In my personal opinion the independent hacker P4x was within his rights to retaliate against the North Korea hackers, although it could have been avoided had those who vowed to protect had stepped up. This could be classed as weak signals from the American Government which in turn is another reason for technology advanced criticisers to “give off”, if an independent citizen is not going to be protected or acknowledged in this case when a serious data breach happens, then why would they want to open up to advancing and learning about technology and the internet.
    This illustrates how the United States is further behind than European countries when it comes to their privacy laws, within European countries there is the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which protects individuals and their privacy (data), there have been examples made from larger companies like Whatsapp when they do not follow the regulation and keep data private. The American government should follow suit to EU law in order to protect its citizens against data breaches.

  3. In this piece, an American hacker named by his handle, P4x, hacked almost all the websites in North Korea and dropped them offline. This man does not work for the United States Cyber Command, or any association connected to hacking. He’s just a random man in his home that we know nothing about. To me, that’s the crazy part of the hacking surge going on right now. Even Seton Hall has cracked down on their cyber security saying “Since the start of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Department of Information Technology has observed a significant increase in potentially malicious traffic. As a result, network traffic and system logins originating in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus have been blocked.” Everyone in the US or any country has the power to hack or shut down the internet and central routers of a country. I remember that we were talking in class about how easy it is to hack a US router or cyber wall.

    In the case of P4x, he’s doing this in retaliation. He was hacked by North Korean spies in “a hacking campaign that targeted Western security researchers with the apparent aim of stealing their hacking tools and details about software vulnerabilities.” This happened over a year ago, and P4x has been planning his revenge since. However, he does not have the right to do this under law. The article says that P4x acknowledges that his actions most likely violate the US computer fraud and hacking laws.

  4. This is one of the coolest articles I have read here. How cool is it to think that we have literal vigilantes capable of shutting down an entire country’s internet, if only for a little while?! Hacking is a fascinating concept to me, probably because I know so little about it.

    It was sad to hear that despite this lone hacker, known as P4x, having such a strong sense of justice, there was seemingly no action from our own government after he was almost hacked. This man is hacking on behalf of America, and was even personally attacked by North Korean hackers. For him not be backed up by our government is tragic.

    P4x’s actions did result in action from our government, and they condemned P4x’s reckless hacking. “he may be getting in the way of stealthier intelligence efforts targeting the same North Korean computers.” Still, they vowed to do a better job of protecting individuals from cyber attacks from outside countries. Our government has always been good at protecting itself, and even ok at corporations, but not individuals.

    Ultimately I agree with the Fed’s decision to not get involved and publicly back P4x. The political implications of backing a rogue hacker would mean our government would be responsible for his actions, and that could mean a declaration of war. It’s much more convenient for us to have guerilla agents, whom our government turns a blind eye to, so that those agents can cause as much chaos as possible without us being blamed.

    Who knows, maybe our government is secretly backing P4x, but is publicly saying they have no connection to him. It’s a real Batman-Commissioner Gordan relationship! P4x sounds like he’s self righteous, what with his comment, “my conscience is clear,” but ultimately I support his crusade.

  5. When I hear of North Korea I automatically think of Kim Jong-un and how corrupt of a dictator he is. I for one can not be the only individual who thinks of him in this way due to the fact that he is a well-known dictator. Kim Jong-un has completely isolated his country from the outside world. Which is very scary in my opinion because they have absolutely no clue of what is happening around them. So the fact that a random guy in America was able to disrupt the internet service in a country that is high in security and had restrictions for the people of its countries blows my mind. It shows you how no matter the location someone may be in a country, technology has become so advance that just about anyone can hack over a networking system with just the touch of a button. Even in place like North Korea where they make sure their citizens are not allowed access to foreign movies, international calls, travel restrictions because Kim Jong-un wants his people to know nothing about the outside world. Which he is very on top up because he controls what they can and can not do and is high on security.

  6. To start, I think I speak for everyone when I say I find it absolutely hilarious when something either unfortunate or bad happens to North Korea, simply because they deserve it by putting themselves in that position. This article highlights the doings by North Korean spies in their attempt to try and steal software and data tools from a solo hacker known as “P4x”. P4x is a world-renowned hacker who found this attempt to be rather humiliating and quite funny in some sense because he fired right back at the country. Before I continue, I think that it is fascinating that a singular person has this much power and let alone the power to “take down” an entire country if he or she wanted to. P4x carried out this act of retaliation by being able to locate and exploit a significant number of unpatched bugs in the North Korean network. This then allowed him to launch a DDoS (Distributed denial of service), which is commonly known more today amongst the younger generation of people as an attack that involves multiple connected online devices that are used to overwhelm the specified target website with fake traffic. The more traffic, the slower the website reacts and runs, eventually leading to a complete crash or shut down of the website altogether. So P4x retaliates at North Korea sending their internet into a spiral of insanity and causing outages nearly everywhere.Again, I find it so fascinating that we have people in the USA just like you and I that have this knowledge and capability of taking down entire countries. What is even more fascinating is that the government has not really bothered focusing on catching these hackers who live in America. P4x reminds of the infamous “Anonymous” hacker organization, with their “V for Vendetta” masks on. P4x and Anonymous have unique similarities, as they are available to keep the peace in the internet world. Maybe P4x works for Anonymous (which is something we will most likely never know), or maybe he is working for the US government to help protect us against internet attacks from places like Russia or the Middle east. This comes with the FED and their decision to secretly back the P4x cyber attack, so it leads me to believe that there is most likely some deal between the two. Cyber attacks in some cases are worse than regular warfare because with stable internet and a direct connection, we have access to virtually nothing. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this one this week because it is not often that you hear about sweet revenge against such a toxic and borderline stupid country. Who knows, maybe we’ll see more cyber attacks between NATO and Russia because of the missile hitting Poland and killing two people.

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