North Korea's Internet and 3G mobile networks were paralyzed again on Saturday evening, China's official Xinhua news agency reported, with the North Korean government blaming the United States for systemic instability in the country's networks. Internet connectivity had not returned to normal as of 9:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. ET), Xinhua said, citing reporters in the country that had confirmed the situation over fixed telephone systems.
Analysts at global Internet performance firm Dyn Research also reported that North Korea appeared to be suffering another countrywide online blackout. “This time, there wasn't the hours of routing instability that presaged the outage like last time,” said Doug Madory, Dyn's director of Internet analysis. “If an outside force took it down again, it did it more efficiently than the previous incident.”
The report comes after the North Korean government called Obama a "monkey" and blamed the United States for enduring instability in the country's Internet infrastructure, after the U.S. blamed North Korea for hacking attack on Sony Studios. The attack was allegedly conducted to deter Sony from showing the comedy film "The Interview," the plot of which features a scheme to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and it resulted in major embarrassment for Sony.
President Barack Obama promised retaliation for the hacking attack on Sony but did not specify its form. North Korea has denied responsibility. Most of North Korea's heavily restricted Internet traffic passes through Chinese routers on its way to the outside world, and some have suggested it is China — increasingly annoyed by recalcitrant North Korean behavior despite the two country's long-standing alliance — that is behind North Korea's Internet troubles.
- North Korea Insults Obama, Blames U.S. For Internet Outages
- FBI Says North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack
- Sony Cancels 'Interview' Release After Theaters Drop Out While Fox Folds Similar Movie
— Hallie Jackson, with Reuters