NORTH KOREA KNOCKED OFFLINE

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East County News Service

Who pulled the plug on North Korea’s internet access?

December 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - The nation’s website and online access went dark on Monday and service remains spotty. The outage occurred just days after U.S. President Barack Obama vowed a response to North Korea’s alleged hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The hackers threatened violence against movie theaters showing “The Interview,” a comedy about journalists recruited to assassinate North Korea’s dictator. The FBI has said North Korea was responsible, though North Korea has denied it. 

North Korea’s official state media has also threatened retaliation against the U.S.

Did the U.S. shut down North Korea’s internet connections for over nine hours?  Or was the blackout caused by other hackers?

A U.S. State Department official reportedly offered a vague response, stating “As we implement our responses, some will be seen, some will not,” the Washington Post reported.

At least a half dozen of the denial-of-service attacks originated from the U.S., according to Arbor Networks, but it is unknown whether or not these were decoys to mislead investigators.

A Twitter account linked to Anonymous, however, has claimed credit for a counterattack against North Korea by a collective of hackers. “Operation RIP North Korea engaged,” the tweet stated. Anonymous has previously taken credit for other high-profile hacks.

The Anonymous account was later suspended by Twitter for an unrelated issue involving release of a sex tape belonging to rapper Iggy Azalea.

So for now, the indentity of the hackers who took down North Korea’s website remains an intriguing mystery.