North Korea experienced sweeping Internet outages on Sunday and Monday, with one computer expert saying the country’s online access has gone completely dark.
Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research, said the Internet connectivity problems were discovered in the last 24 hours and have gotten worse to the point that “North Korea’s totally down.”
It’s not immediately clear if the Internet connectivity problems were an act of retribution for a major intrusion at Sony Pictures Entertainment that the FBI last week linked to North Korea.
Washington accuses Pyongyang of being behind the hack that led to the release of embarrassing company emails and caused Sony executives to halt the debut of the movie “The Interview.”
The film about a fictional CIA plot to kill the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, infuriated North Korea, although Pyongyang has repeatedly denied it was behind the cyber assault.
President Barack Obama, while saying that the alleged hack was not an act of war, has promised an unspecified “proportionate” response.
The New York Times noted that since the general population in North Korea does not have Internet access, the biggest impact of the outages will be felt by the country’s elite, its state-run media and its “cadre of cyberwarriors.”
Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the administration is “discussing a range of options” in response to the Sony hacking.
“We aren’t going to discuss, you know, publicly operational details about the possible response options or comment on those kind of reports in anyway except to say that as we implement our responses, some will be seen, some may not be seen,” she said.