Anonymous Hijacks North Korea Twitter, Flickr Accounts
An image posted on the North Korean Flickr page April 4, 2013.
CREDIT: Anonymous/Creative Commons
Hackers affiliating themselves with the online movement Anonymous have apparently hijacked a Twitter feed and Flickr account run by the North Korean government.
This morning (April 4), the Flickr page displayed four Anonymous-related images, including one depicting North Korean President Kim Jong-un with a pig's snout and ears. Another superimposed the Guy Fawkes mask over the North Korean flag. (The images were later removed.)
Meanwhile, an official North Korean Twitter feed posted links to "hacked" North Korean-run websites hosted in China and Japan, many of which were unreachable.
On Monday, Anonymous-affiliated hackers claimed to have broken into the membership records of Uriminzokkiri.com, an official North Korean website hosted in China. ("Uriminzokkiri" means "our nation" in Korean and is also the name of the Twitter feed and Flickr account.)
The hackers also claimed to have gotten into North Korea's isolated national Internet, Kwangmyong, although some technical experts wondered how that could be possible. (The hackers also implied that Uriminzokkiri.com was hosted inside North Korea, which it isn't.)
"We have a few guys on the ground who managed to bring the real Internet into the country using a chain of long-distance Wi-Fi repeaters with proprietary frequencies, so they're not jammed (yet)," a new Pastebin posting explained yesterday (April 3). "We also have access to some N.K. phone landlines which are connected to Kwangmyong through dial-ups."
The writer or writers admitted some problems with linking into North Korea.
"The whole chain of connections is slow and unstable," the posting says, and "the devices connected to the phone landlines are rapidly detected and removed by N.K. authorities."
But, promises the statement, "As soon as the connections are stabilized and optimized, we gonna inject the kittens and porn into their network, because North Korean citizens wanna see lulzy kittehs and and hawt pr0n too."
The latest posting also pointed to other Pastebin posts that purport to display records of over 9,000 (yup) registered members of Uriminzokkiri.com, including their usernames, real names, email addresses, birth dates and encrypted passwords.
Online experts on North Korea had pointed out that the first "dump" of Uriminzokkiri.com had contained only six user accounts, and three of them had Chinese names.
This new dump of 9,001 accounts is impressive, but it's hard to think a loyal North Korean would have the username and email address "prezkim," as one account holder does. Most of the users registered their countries of residence as China, Japan or South Korea.
Nevertheless, most of the users have distinctly Korean names. China and Japan have substantial populations of ethnic Koreans, as well as of Korean expatriates, many of whom are loyal to Pyongyang rather than Seoul.