With North Korea threatening others with nuclear annihilation, the hackivist group Anonymous is taking the fight to North Korea.
The Guy Fawkes-masked cyber-vigilantes, better known for selectively attacking governments, financial institutions, pedophiles, religious groups, and even a Mexican drug cartel, started their “Operation Free Korea” campaign at the beginning of this month. In the first phase the group hacked the China-based, North Korea-controlled website Uriminzokkiri.com, and seized control of the organization’s Twitter and Flickr accounts, installing a wanted poster of a pig-snouted Kim Jong-un with an image of Mickey Mouse emblazoned on his chest accompanied by a manifesto, a series of demands, and a warning:
North Korean government is increasingly becoming a threat to peace and freedom. Don’t misunderstand us: As well we disagree with the USA government too – these guys are crooks, USA is a threat to world peace too, and direct democracy (or any kind of democracy) doesn’t exist there. The American government is a target and enemy of Anonymous as well!
This is not about country vs country – This is about we, the people, the 99% (of USA and of North Korea) vs oppressing and violent regimes (like USA gov. and N.K. gov)! We, the people, are gathering together because we are stronger now and we won’t fight your wars anymore, we won’t eat your shit anymore!!!
– N.K. government to stop making nukes and nuke-threats
– Kim Jong-un to resign
– it’s time to install a free direct democracy in North Korea
– uncensored internet access for all the citizens!
To Kim Jong-un:
So you feel the need to create large nukes and threaten half the world with them?
So you’re into demonstrations of power?, here is ours:
– We are inside your local intranets (Kwangmyong and others)
– We are inside your mailservers
– We are inside your webservers
Enjoy these few records as a proof of our access to your systems (random innocent citizens, collateral damage, because they were stupid enough to choose idiot passwords), we got all over 15k membership records of www.uriminzokkiri.com and many more. First we gonna wipe your data, then we gonna wipe your badass dictatorship “government”.
To the citizens of North Korea we suggest to rise up and bring these motherfuckers of a oppressive government down!
We are holding your back and your hand, while you take the journey to freedom, democracy and peace.
You are not alone.
Don’t fear us, we are not terrorist, we are the good guys from the internet. AnonKorea and all the other Anons are here to set you free.
The group has subsequently upped the personal ante, pointing out the obvious phallic connections latent in Kim Jong-un’s focus on the missile program.
Anonymous claimed to have stolen 15,000 membership passwords, and subsequently released the personal details of the account holders, though there is some uncertainty about the reliability of this information. This was followed by the hacking and release of the personal details of several other, smaller pro-North sites. This is no small matter for South Korean citizens insofar as this information could be used in criminal prosecution under the National Security Law.
The group then celebrated Kim Il-sung’s birthday by bringing down Uriminzokkiri.com and other North Korea-related sites including Air Koryo, which had recently inaugurated online reservations, through distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, though the websites of the Rodong Sinmun and the Korean Central News Agency continued to function normally.
One Anonymous hacker, interviewed by Yonhap, said in the next attack, “Anonymous members not only want to attack the government’s homepage, but will try to steal personnel data of North Korean leaders, and even hack into the North’s nuclear facilities.” There is no evidence thus far, however, that they have successfully penetrated servers in North Korea or the North Korean intranet, though they have provided some details as to how they expect to do this:
We happily noticed you questioned how we could be inside Kwangmyong, the country-wide intranet of N.K., because we think it’s good journalism to doubt and question things. We have a few guys on the ground who managed to bring the real internet into the country using a chain of long distance WiFi repeaters with proprietary frequencies, so they’re not jammed (yet). We also have access to some N.K. phone landlines which are connected to Kwangmyong through dial-ups. Last missing peace of puzzle was to interconnect the two networks, which those guys finally managed to do.
Another wave of attacks have been announced for 25 June, the anniversary of the start of the Korean War.
For its part, the North Korea blamed South Korea for the attacks.