US Government Denies Involvement in North Korea Internet Outage

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The US government has denied any involvement in the North Korean internet outage at the end of December. In an interview with The Associated Press, two senior US officials denied that the US had “hacked back” in retaliation for the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment last month.

According to the AP, the two officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue.

North Korea suffered intermittent internet outages throughout the weekend of Dec. 20, 2014. The 10-hour outage was consistent with a DDoS attack on its routers.

The Obama administration has blamed North Korea for the attacks on Sony, which brought down its network for more than six weeks. According to the AP, its network is expected to remain down for weeks longer.

The FBI has been scant on the details and evidence, but has said that the Sony attack was consistent with other attacks linked to North Korea.

North Korea has staunchly defended itself, and said that the FBI’s accusations were based on “obscure sci-tech data and false story.”

Other security experts believe that a former Sony employee may have collaborated with pro-piracy hacktivists to impersonate North Korean hackers.

According to a report by ABC News, there will be a hearing on Tuesday in Congress about “North Korea’s cyberthreats with testimony from senior officials at the departments of State, Treasury and Homeland Security.”

A security researcher has looked at how North Korea’s internet works in a blog post last week, pointing to major flaws in its infrastructure which could enable hackers to attack one single point and bring the entire network down. A so-called “mothership” server is central to the monitoring of North Korea’s Internet users.

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