Sony Hack: North Korea Suffering Internet Outages

Development comes just days after the FBI and President Obama blame the hermit state for Sony cyberattack and vow “proportional response”

Last Updated: December 22, 2014 @ 5:29 PM

North Korea’s Internet is experiencing periodic outages, according to multiple media reports.

The Internet issues come just days after President Barack Obama blasted the North Korean government for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment and promised the United States would deliver a “proportional response.”

But on Monday the White House National Security Council and the U.S. Department of State both declined to take credit for any possible Internet troubles in the hermit state.

“We have no new information to share regarding North Korea today,” Bernadette Meehan, NSC spokesperson, said in a statement to TheWrap. “If in fact North Korea’s Internet has gone down, we’d refer you to that government for comment.”

“We aren’t going to discuss publicly operational details about the possible response options or comment on those kinds of reports in any way except to say that as we implement our responses, some will be seen, some may not be seen,” said deputy State Department spokesperson Marie Harf at a regularly scheduled briefing.

Periodic Internet outages are typical in North Korea, but experts at Dyn Research claim the problems are out of the ordinary, CNBC reported.

“I haven’t seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before,” Dyn Research director of Internet analysis Doug Madory said. “Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently.”

On Friday, the FBI concluded North Korea was responsible for the Sony hacking as retaliation for Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy “The Interview,” which depicts an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

President Obama called the hacking “cyber vandalism” on Sunday but stopped short of describing it as an act of war. For its part, North Korea has denied involvement in the Sony hack but turned the tables in the war of words, by threatening severe retaliation.

The U.S. government “conceived and produced” the movie “The Interview” along with Sony, the Kim Jong-un–led government charged in a statement carried on the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), as TheWrap previously reported.

“Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction,” the statement said in broken English. “Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans.”

On Friday, after the FBI said that North Korea was responsible for the hack attack, President Obama said that country “caused a lot of damage, and we will respond; we will respond proportionally, and we will respond in a place and time that we choose.”