Whodunnit? Kim Jong-Un’s Mysterious Hacker Brigade

acting-man.com / Pater Tenebrarum / December 23, 2014

An Unlikely Story

Readers may recall that some time ago, we profiled a few of North Korea’s army installations as well as its formidable navy (see “A Paucity of Enemies” for details). The entire planet has reportedly been transfixed in mute terror since we published the photographs of the North Korea’s dangerous wooden row-boats and its 20HP hi-tech central command vessel on which Kim Jong-Un and a number of people with terrifyingly big hats were sharing a Dr. Evil laugh.

On the same occasion, we also showed what we at the time believed to be North Korea’s only computer, complete with its made-in-China cable drum:

North Korea’s wheeled super-computer (the DPRK equivalent of NORAD), surrounded by seven of the estimated 1,000 North Koreans with internet access. Photo credit: KCNA / Reuters

There are a number of reasons why it is a bit hard to believe that North Korea is behind the infamous Sony hack. A friend tells us that the linguistic tracks left behind by the hackers read like they have come from a Google translator or a similar device – they were definitely not the work of a native speaker. Another reason – probably the most important one – is that spokesmen of North Korea’s government are steadfastly denying North Korea was responsible. Whenever the North Korean government manages to pull a stunt like this, it will usually do the exact opposite, i.e., it will brag about it all day long.

Why would a country that performs unannounced nuclear tests and occasionally test-fires missiles in the general direction of its nearest perceived enemies bother denying it was behind a mere computer hack?

Lastly, we were wondering where North Korea’s fearsome hacker brigade is getting its training. According to press reports, it is estimated that the number of North Koreans that actually have internet access ranges from just “a few dozen” to up to 1,000 individuals. In fact, the country only has slightly more than 1,000 IP addresses and a single internet provider. This makes it all the more curious that someone has apparently attacked and disrupted North Korea’s internet connections in recent days, evidently in retaliation for the Sony hack. A lot more people outside of the country than inside it actually know about this disruption.

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