Two of North Korea’s government-run online social media sites appeared Thursday to have been hacked, possibly by the hacker collective Anonymous.
The sites were North’s Uriminzokkiri Twitter and Flickr account. Instead of sending out typical contents like photos of Kim Jung Un’s meeting with military officials, a picture posted Thursday on its Flickr site shows Kim’s face with a pig-like snout and drawing of a Mickey Mouse on his chest. The caption reads, “Threatening world peace with ICBMs and Nuclear weapons/Wasting money while his people starve to death.”
Moreover, a statement that purportedly came from the attackers and was widely circulated said that they had compromised 15,000 user records hosted on Uriminzokkiri.com and other websites, the Associated Press reports. Although the statement could not be verified, North’s official website did not open Thursday.
The North’s Twitter account tweeted “Hacked” followed by a link to North Korea-related websites. The usual image atop the page was replaced with one that reads “tango down” – military slang that has been used by hackers to say they have interrupted service to a website, according to CNN.
The image also shows dancers wearing Guy Fawkes masks, a favorite symbol of the hacker collective.
According to CNET, Anonymous announced last week it would continue to hack North Korean sites if the government didn’t “stop making nukes and nuke-threats.” The group also demanded the resignation of Kim, democracy in North Korea, and uncensored internet access for all North Koreans.
However, despite these efforts, these attacks haven’t accomplished much so far. It has affected only North Korea’s outwards facing sites – social media accounts and Internet-based websites, according to Business Insiders.
Most North Koreas will never know about these attacks as they cannot access the internet.
Although Anonymous claims to have gained access to North Korea’s real online network known as “Kwangmyong,” these claims seem unlikely.
“The network is insulated from the outside world and not accessible outside the country. You can’t get to it from the internet because it’s not on the internet,” said Caitlin Dewey at the Washington Post.
According to Business Insider, Charlies Custer of Tech in Asia agrees with Dewey. “Accessing Kwangmyong is not theoretically impossible… [but] without any proof of such access, Anonymous’ claim seems dubious at best.”