North Korea’s internet went down on Monday, following a weekend of spotty coverage, according to multiple news reports. The outage comes only days after President Obama said that the U.S. “will respond proportionally” to North Korea regarding the FBI’s allegations that the solitary nation was responsible for the immense hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The North Korean internet outage was spotted by Dyn Research’s director of Internet analysis Doug Madory who told several news organizations that the country’s four networks that connect to the rest of the internet were offline. Bloomberg News noted that North Korea’s four networks (in comparison, the U.S. has over 152,000 similar networks) all pass through China.
Madory was not able to declare whether someone was indeed hacking North Korea, but he told Bloomberg News, “It is kind of out of the ordinary. This is not like anything I’ve seen before.”
The Dyn Research director gave a few more details to the New York Times saying that the outage appears similar to what occurs during a DDoS attack, in which network routers are bombarded with so much traffic, they end up failing.
CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince also confirmed to the New York Times that North Korea’s internet is offline.
Considering North Korea’s general populace does not have regular access to the web, the country’s citizens aren’t probably feeling the effects of the outage, according to the Times. North Korea’s elite and its cyber army are probably reeling, however.
If it turns out that the U.S. is responsible for bringing down the North Korean internet, the Times noted that it would be quite a shift for the U.S. as most cases of U.S. cyber espionage center around the collecting of data, not the shutting down of systems.
A U.S. State Department spokeswoman told Washington reporters that the U.S. is unable to confirm the hacking reports on North Korea, and she wouldn’t outline how the U.S. plans to respond to the original Sony hack.