Cyber war rebounds as internet dies in North Korea

The main targets are news and propaganda websites aimed at the outside world

North Korea is losing what little access it has to the internet in a series of outages as tensions remain high over Pyongyang’s role in a cyber attack on Sony Pictures.

Internet monitors noticed North Korea’s connections to the outside world went dark on Monday and this has been followed by another outage today.

North Korea’s small number of internet users are dependent on a Chinese communications company and the outage could be a denial of service attack or something more serious.

The digital blackout came after Sony’s computers were hacked and internal emails and data, including unreleased pictures, were made public.

This pushed the studio to cancel the release of The Interview, a satirical movie about an assassination plot against North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.

That decision has since been revoked after criticism by President Obama and public outrage over the curbing of free speech.

In Monday’s outage, websites for North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, and a major daily newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, as well as another propaganda website, Naenara, went blank.

President Obama has pledged a response to the North Korean attacks on Sony – something North Korea denies – but an official White House spokeswoman says this outage is not part of it.