Anonymous Taunts North Korea
Anonymous has lashed out against Kim Jong-un, and there's no telling what the fallout might be. North Korea is unlikely to overlook the depiction of its supreme leader as a pig sporting a Mickey Mouse tee shirt. Nor will it ignore the group's crude sexual advice or the penetration of the country's IT systems, assuming those claims are true. Anxiety over how and when it may retaliate is generating some bloody fingernails.
The hactivist group Anonymous has taken on North Korea, it appears, hacking into the country's official Twitter and Flickr accounts on Wednesday. It reportedly sent out tweets ridiculing the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, and used its Flickr account to portray him in an unflattering light, to put it mildly.
It appears that North Korea has regained control of its social media channels since the hack.
Anonymous announced its ownership of the event on Pastebin.
It cites North Korea's increasing threat to peace and freedom as the reason for its attacks, demanding that North Korea stop making nukes and nuke-threats; that Kim Jong-un resign; that the government install a free direct democracy in North Korea, and that it provide uncensored Internet access for all the citizens.
It also offers an unseemly suggestion for Kim Jong-un: namely, that he investigate the various penis enlargement products on the market because "if his d*ck wasn't so small he wouldn't feel the need to create large nukes and threaten half the world with them."
Such an insult to the leader of a country notorious for paranoia over its world status is not likely to be dismissed. Kim Jong-un -- a man in his 20s with a Western education -- is no doubt acutely aware of how easily such comments can go viral.
In short, this may not end well for other nations or for the people responsible for the North Korean accounts' security.
"When I first heard about this, the fate of the people responsible for maintaining those sites was the first thing I thought about," Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com told TechNewsWorld. In a Western nation, the responsible government employees might be reassigned or fired. In North Korea, they could face a death sentence.
It appears -- based on Anonymous' description of what it did -- that this was a fairly comprehensive breach. The group claimed it was inside local intranets (Kwangmyong and others) and inside mail servers and Web servers.
It publicized some data as proof of its claims, describing it as records of "random innocent citizens, collateral damage, because they were stupid enough to choose idiot passwords."
Stepping Up Security
Without a doubt, North Korea will tighten its security, Siciliano said, but that will just be the start. The country has a history of aggressive saber-rattling -- as evidenced by current nuclear threats -- and it can be safely assumed that its attitude of aggression applies to cyberspace as well.
If North Korea isn't deeply into cyberspying, cyberwarfare and cyberespionage yet, it surely will hasten its efforts.
"When you are as cocky and unpredictable a country as North Korea, lashing out is a given," Siciliano said. "But at who? That is the question."
One likely possibility is the U.S., Siciliano said, "since North Korea blames the U.S. for everything that happens to them."