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North Korea 48hrs closure of Internet fuels speculations of retaliation by US

North Korea 48hrs closure of Internet fuels speculations of retaliation by US

LONDON: North Korea suffered 48 hours closure of Internet which has become a case study in a way or other.
The mysterious problems have some talking of a retaliatory cyberattack by the United States, which holds Pyongyang responsible for last month’s spectacular hack of Sony Pictures. American officials have fueled speculation with vague denials, but security experts say North Korea’s Internet infrastructure is so skeletal that even amateurs — or a simple glitch — could have brought it clattering down.
“A large city block in London or New York would have more IP (Internet Protocol) addresses than North Korea,” said Ofer Gayer, a security researcher at Incapsula Inc., based in Redwood Shores, Calif.
Even on a good day, Web watchers see less Internet traffic from North Korea than from the Falkland Islands, a North Atlantic archipelago of fewer than 3,000 people, said Gayer. Media companies such as Sony easily dwarf the communist country’s web presence.
He said that if the network was targeted by a kind of distributed denial-of-service — or DDoS — attack, the list of suspects is endless.
“Any kid that knows how to run a small-sized DDoS amplification attack can do it from his home.”
For many, the uncertainty over the outage — and lingering doubts over who hacked Sony — illustrates how little we can really know about attacks in the Information Age.
“This whole incident is a perfect illustration of how technology is equalizing capability,” Bruce Schneier, a respected security expert, said in a blog post. “In both the original attack against Sony, and this attack against North Korea, we can’t tell the difference between a couple of hackers and a government