North Korea gets second web connection via Russian firm

October 5, 2017
The new internet connection to North Korea supplements the existing link provided by China Unicom
The new internet connection to North Korea supplements the existing link provided by China Unicom

A state-owned Russian company has opened up a second internet connection for North Korea which could strengthen Pyongyang's cyber capabilities and undermine US efforts to isolate the regime, security experts said.

The activation of the new line from TransTeleCom was first detected Sunday by analysts at Dyn Research, which monitors global internet connectivity.

The new connection supplements the existing link provided by China Unicom, which has almost exclusively routed North Korean internet traffic since 2010.

The additional line gives Pyongyang "significantly more resilience against attacks on their ," said Bryce Boland, the in the Asia-Pacific for cybersecurity firm FireEye.

The Washington Post reported earlier that the US Cyber Command had carried out attacks against hackers in North Korea aimed at cutting off their access to the Internet.

The operation ended Saturday, the report said.

North Korea has a 6,800-strong unit of trained cyberwarfare specialists, according to Seoul's defence ministry, and has been accused of launching high-profile cyberattacks including the 2014 hacking of Sony Pictures.

But with only one internet provider to rely on, the regime has often found itself vulnerable to external cyberattacks against its own network infrastructure.

North Korea suffered several failures—some which lasted for hours—shortly after the Sony attack, which many suspected to be a US retaliation.

With the alternate route from Russia, "the possibility of disconnecting North Korea from the Internet just became much more difficult," Boland said.

Explore further: N. Korea suffers another Internet shutdown

Related Stories

N. Korea suffers another Internet shutdown

December 27, 2014

North Korea suffered an Internet shutdown for at least two hours on Saturday, Chinese state-media and cyber experts said, after Pyongyang blamed Washington for an online blackout earlier this week.

North Korea's Internet briefly down again: US experts

December 23, 2014

North Korea's connections to the Internet were briefly cut for the second day running Tuesday, according to a US Internet research group that has been tracking the country's struggle to stay online.

US blames North Korea for series of cyberattacks

June 14, 2017

U.S. officials are blaming the North Korean government for a series of cyberattacks dating to 2009 against media, aerospace, financial sectors and infrastructure in the United States and around the world.

Web outage hardly stirs Internet-free N. Korea: experts

December 24, 2014

North Korea's Internet went down this week after an apparent attack but most of its citizens will not have noticed the difference in a country that does its level best to seal off foreign influence, experts say.

2,700 hacking attempts on S.Korea military in year

September 28, 2011

South Korea's military has seen more than 2,700 attempts to hack into its websites over the past year, a lawmaker said Wednesday, amid growing concern over North Korea's cyber warfare capability.

Recommended for you

A not-quite-random walk demystifies the algorithm

December 15, 2017

The algorithm is having a cultural moment. Originally a math and computer science term, algorithms are now used to account for everything from military drone strikes and financial market forecasts to Google search results.

US faces moment of truth on 'net neutrality'

December 14, 2017

The acrimonious battle over "net neutrality" in America comes to a head Thursday with a US agency set to vote to roll back rules enacted two years earlier aimed at preventing a "two-speed" internet.

FCC votes along party lines to end 'net neutrality' (Update)

December 14, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules Thursday, giving internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit ...

The wet road to fast and stable batteries

December 14, 2017

An international team of scientists—including several researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory—has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.