Putting North Korea’s ‘widespread’ internet outage in perspective

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

When four networks go down in a country where hardly anyone has internet access, does it make any sense to say that North Korea had an internet outage?

Every single day there are outages on a much larger scale all over the world and apart from for the technicians whose task it is to fix them, they largely go unnoticed.

Two weeks ago there was an outage of 148 networks in the U.S. It didn’t merit media coverage — just a tweet.

A 9 hour 31 minute outage that prompted headlines suggesting the U.S. government might have launched a cyberattack in response to the Sony hack, drew this more measured observation from Mashable:

While nobody knows who blocked access for the four networks and 1,024 IP addresses in the country, the consensus is clear: it wouldn’t have taken much. The attack appears to have been a relatively simple distributed denial of service, or DDoS — the kind of thing just about any experienced hacker could launch.

Meanwhile, North Korea, never known to exercise restraint when it comes to launching fusillades of wild rhetoric, on Sunday threatened to destroy America, which is to say, they are ready to “blow up” every city in this country. The Policy Department of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK said:

The army and people of the DPRK who aspire after justice and truth and value conscience have hundreds of millions of supporters and sympathizers, known or unknown, who have turned out in the sacred war against terrorism and the U.S. imperialists, the chieftain of aggression, to accomplish the just cause.

Obama personally declared in public the “symmetric counteraction”, a disgraceful behavior.

There is no need to guess what kind of thing the “symmetric counteraction” is like but the army and people of the DPRK will never be browbeaten by such a thing.

The DPRK has already launched the toughest counteraction. Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction. Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans.

The army and people of the DPRK are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the U.S. in all war spaces including cyber warfare space to blow up those citadels.

Funny how a nuclear-armed government can threaten to destroy this country and no one takes it seriously and yet when unknown hackers ominously evoke memories of 9/11, Sony executives panic.

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