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Saturday 30 September 2023 Dublin: 10°C
North Korea is really struggling to stay online
We still don’t know who did it though…

NORTH KOREA IS struggling to maintain a decent Internet service after its nine-hour outage on Monday.

According to American research firm Dyn, there have been a number of connection problems since the initial blackout ended.

PastedImage-12199 The purple bars indicate when there are networks available; the white space indicates a total outage.

There was another total outage at 3.41pm local time yesterday which lasted about 31 minutes.

The company, which monitors more than 510,000 networks across the world, said it is “a rare event these days when an entire country leaves the Internet (as Egypt did, or Syria)”.

“Even so,” it added, “when North Korea’s four networks went dark, we were not entirely surprised, based on the fragility of their national connectivity to the global Internet.”

Despite rumours that it was the US (a retaliation for the Sony hack), it still isn’t clear who or what was behind the shutdown of Pyongyang’s connections.

The outage also did not impact a significant number of people as the majority of citizens in North Korea do not have online access.

“Most of ordinary people in North Korea have no access to the Internet. Only a handful of elites can use it, with great restrictions,” said Kim Seung-Joo, professor at Korea University’s Centre for Information Security Technologies (CIST).

“Since North Korea as a whole relies so little on the Internet, the potential damage of the outage will also be quite limited,” he said.

More than two million use mobile phones but almost all lack Internet connectivity or overseas call features, according to defectors and experts.

The North also has about a million computers — mainly available at educational and state institutions — but most lack any connection to the world wide web.

Instead, a domestic “Kwangmyong” intranet offers e-mail, some online games and access to websites of state bodies and media but little else.

With reporting by AFP

More: Sony is now going to release The Interview to “the largest possible audience”

Read: North Korea’s internet was down for over nine hours last night

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