A lone US hacker has significantly disrupted North Korea's internet, paralysing government websites and choking off emails in a brutal act of revenge – all while in his pyjamas.
The independent hacker, who can be identified only by his alias P4x, performed the cyberattacks while “sitting in his living room in his pyjamas”.
The hacker has stated that he acted in revenge after being subject to a cyberattack himself by the Communist state.
He alleged that over a year ago, North Korea attempted to break into his personal network and access his hacking technology.
He added that despite reporting the incident to the FBI, he was all but ignored by the US authorities.
Wired magazine said of the attack: “It was the work of one American man in a T-shirt, pyjama pants and slippers, sitting in his living room night after night, watching Alien movies and eating spicy corn snacks — and periodically walking over to his home office to check on the progress of the programs he was running to disrupt the internet of an entire country.”
P4x told Wired: “It felt like the right thing to do here. If they don’t see we have teeth, it’s just going to keep coming. I want them to understand that if you come at us, it means some of your infrastructure is going down for a while.”
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He added: “If no one’s going to help me, I’m going to help myself.”
P4x repeatedly launched so-called “distributed denial of service”, or “DDoS” attacks.
These shut down internet activity with a flood of traffic, overwhelming the system’s capacity to process it.
These attacks are commonly used by hackers to disrupt services. In 2020, Google disclosed that they had been subject to the biggest DDoS attack to date in 2017, when the stream of traffic targeted at their services by hackers reached 2.54 terabytes a second.
P4x’s attacks over the past two weeks have affected most of North Korea’s limited official websites.
These include the state airline Air Koryo and Naenara, the latter of which carries news and propaganda.
Some experts who monitor the North Korean internet had previously suspected that the attacks were by Western governments, in an act of retaliation for Pyongyang’s recent round of missiles tests.
However, it later emerged to have come from a P4x, who has also set up a website on the “dark web” called the FUNK Project (from “FU North Korea”) to recruit fellow hackers in his campaign against the communist state.
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