North Korea's web crash explored as Sony prepares to screen 'The Interview'

North Korea's web crash explored as Sony prepares to screen 'The Interview'

It is still not clear whether North Korea's internet crash was in retaliation for the hacking of Sony Pictures, but the movie company has just announced it is releasing it's controversial 'The interview' for screening in the US tomorrow.

Please join us on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bangkokpostlearning

This undated file picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 27, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) looking at a computer screen with military leaders. North Korea's Internet went dark for several hours early this week amid rumors of US retaliation over its alleged hacking of a Hollywood studio. AFP

Latest:

Sony to release 'Interview' after hack attack

Back in business. The Interview," a parody film which has angered North Korea and likely triggered a hacking attack on the company that made it will be screened after all, although on a limited basis. AFP

Sony Pictures said Tuesday it will screen madcap comedy "The Interview" in some US theaters on Christmas Day, a dramatic U-turn after its widely criticised decision to cancel the film following a cyber-assault blamed on North Korea.

Just six days after cancelling the film's opening, in a move decried as a defeat for freedom of speech, Sony chief executive Michael Lynton confirmed that the movie would now be shown in theaters on Thursday.

The release of the film is likely to be limited to smaller movie chains. A Sony spokesman said the film was expected to screen at "200 plus" theaters, a fraction of the estimated 2,500 cinemas originally expected to screen the movie.

Who pulled the plug on North Korea's Internet?

WASHINGTON, AFP – North Korea's Internet was on the fritz for a second day Tuesday. But the US is staying silent on whether it launched a cyber attack as payback for the hacking of Sony Pictures.

And in the murky world of cyber security, experts say there are several plausible scenarios for why North Korea suddenly went dark, stressing it's impossible to know exactly what happened.

While some have been quick to make the link between Pyongyang's connectivity woes and a pledge by US President Barack Obama to retaliate for last month's Sony hack, many analysts aren't convinced.

"It's unlikely, if only because we can't make decisions that fast," said cyber expert James Lewis, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Washington has asked for help from Pyongyang's ally Beijing to rein in the North's cyber activities, so "monkeying" around with Internet services linked to China would not make much sense, he told AFP.

It was also a pretty unsophisticated attack, if it was an attack, said Doug Madory, director of Internet Analysis with Dyn Research, the US monitoring company which broke the story of Pyongyang's Internet problems.

"We don't have direct evidence of some kind of cyber attack, but it would be consistent with that," he told AFP. Given the low-level of sophistication "the cast of characters that could have pulled this off is immense."

"If a nation state such as the US wanted to take North Korea off, I'm not sure it would have taken them 12 hours."

North Korea only has connections to four Internet networks and they all run through China, operated by a single provider, China Unicom.

"That's a fragile state of affairs," said Jim Cowie, chief scientist with Dyn Research.

China has been increasingly frustrated by the erratic behavior of North Korea's new young leader, Kim Jong-Un.

Simply pulling the plug on its Internet would send a strong signal of its displeasure, while at the same time shoring up ties with the United States which has indicted five Chinese military officers for hacking into US companies to steal trade secrets.

On the other hand, simply pulling a plug would not have caused the "hours and hours" of instability in the networks, which first alerted Dyn Research to the problem.

CSIS analyst Lewis believes the top scenario is the North Koreans either "inadvertently doing this, or more likely combing through their networks" to figure out how the US traced them to the Sony attack.

"The pattern of up-and-down connectivity, followed by a total outage, is consistent with a fragile network under external attack," said Cowie.

"But it's also consistent with more common causes, such as power problems," he argued, pointing to such things as breaks in fiberoptic cables.

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :

Vocabulary

  • alert (verb): to make somebody aware of something - เตือน, ทำให้ตระหนักถึง
  • ally (noun): a person, group, organisation or country who helps and supports another person, group, organisation or country - คนกลุ่มหรือประเทศที่อยู่ในกลุ่มเดียวกัน; พันธมิตร
  • analyst: a person whose job involves examining facts or materials in order to give an opinion on them - นักวิเคราะห์
  • argue: to give reasons why you think that something is right/wrong, true/not true, etc, especially to persuade people that you are right - ห้เหตุผล, อ้างเหตุผล
  • assault (noun): a sudden, violent attack - การทำร้าย
  • behavior (noun): the way that someone acts or behaves - พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว
  • blame: to say or think that someone or something did something wrong or is responsible for something bad happening - โยนความผิดให้, ตำหนิ
  • cast of characters (noun): the people who are involved in something, e.g., acting in a movie or play -
  • chain: a group of businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc.) owned by the same company - บริษัทต่างๆที่อยู่ในเครือเดียวกัน
  • chief executive: the person with the highest rank in a company or an organisation - ผู้บริหารสูงสุด
  • comb: to search a place or an area very carefully in order to find something; make your hair look in place or look better - ค้นหาอย่างละเอียด, หวีผม
  • common: ordinary; not unusual or special - ที่เกิดขึ้นทุกวัน, ธรรมดา
  • connection: something that connects two facts, ideas, etc. - การเชื่อมต่อ การเชื่อมโยง
  • connectivity (noun): how well connected things are, how easily you can get from one place to another - ภาวะเชื่อมต่อ, สภาพเชื่อมโยง
  • consistent with: similar to or the same - สอดคล้องกับ, ตรงกับ
  • convinced: certain; sure - แน่ใจ, มั่นใจ
  • criticised: receiving words of disapproval over something that you have supposedly done wrong - ถูกวิจารณ์, โดนว่า
  • cyber-: connected with electronic communication networks, especially the Internet - ไซเบอร์, คำนำหน้าหมายถึงคอมพิวเตอร์
  • decision (noun): a choice or judgement that you make after thinking and talking about what is the best thing to do - การตัดสินใจ
  • decry: to strongly criticise somebody/something, especially publicly - วิพากษ์วิจารณ์อย่างรุนแรง
  • defeat: a loss - ความพ่ายแพ้
  • displeasure: the feeling of being annoyed or unhappy - ความไม่พอใจ
  • dramatic: sudden, very great and often surprising - ตื่นเต้นเร้าใจ
  • erratic (adj): not happening at regular times; not following any plan or regular pattern; that you cannot rely on; unpredictable - ไม่แน่ไม่นอน, เอาแน่เอานอนไม่ได้
  • estimated: thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available - ประมาณการ
  • evidence: facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true - หลักฐาน,ข้อแสดง
  • expert: someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
  • fellow (noun): a member of an academic or professional organization; a senior member of some colleges or universities - สมาชิกของสมาคมวิชาการ,ผู้วิจัยในมหาวิทยาลัย วุฒิบัณฑิต
  • figure out: to be able to understand something or to solve a problem - คิดออก
  • fraction (noun): a small part of something - ส่วนน้อย, จำนวนเล็กน้อย
  • fragile: weak; easy to damage or break - ที่เปราะบาง ไม่แข็งแรงคงทน, ไม่ทนทาน, เสียหายง่าย
  • frustrated: feeling annoyed and impatient because you are prevented from achieving something - ผิดหวัง,ท้อแท้ใจมาก, หงุดหงิดใจ
  • hack: to secretly find a way of looking at and/or changing information on somebody else's computer system without permission - เจาะเข้าโปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
  • immense: very much - มากมาย
  • inadvertent (adj): by accident; without intending to - ซึ่งไม่ตั้งใจ
  • indict (verb): to officially accuse someone of a serious crime - ฟ้องร้อง
  • instability: a situation that keeps changing, so that you are worried about what might happen - ความไม่มั่นคง
  • interview: a meeting (often a public one) at which a person is asked questions in order to find out their opinions, experiences, etc. - การสัมภาษณ์
  • launch (verb): to start something - เริ่มต้น, เปิดโครงการ, เริ่มทำ
  • limited: stopped from increasing beyond a particular amount or level - ถูกจำกัด
  • link: a connection - ความเชื่อมโยงกัน
  • madcap (adj): crazy and not caring about danger; not sensible - บ้าระห่ำ, ไม่ยั้งคิด
  • make sense: to be a sensible/reasonable thing to do - เข้าที, เข้าท่า
  • monitor: to regularly check something or watch someone in order to find out what is happening - ตรวจสอบ ตรวจตรา
  • monkey around (verb): to play or work with something in an unplanned way -
  • murky: not clear; dark or dirty with mud or another substance - มืดมนมาก
  • network: a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. - เครือข่าย
  • on the fritz (idiom): not working - เสีย, ไม่ทำงาน
  • on the other hand: and looking at the opposite situation .... or another situation ... - ตรงกันข้าม
  • originally: the situation that existed at the beginning of a particular period or activity, especially before something was changed - อย่างเป็นอันแรก, โดยแรกเริ่ม
  • outage (noun): a period of time when an electrical signal, an online service, etc., is unavailable - สัญญาณขาดหาย
  • parody (noun): a piece of writing, music, acting, etc. that deliberately copies the style of somebody/something in order to be amusing - การเขียนล้อเลียน, การแต่งเพลงล้อเลียน
  • payback (noun): something (good or bad) somebody receives for something they have done; the act of paying something back - การคืน
  • plausible: reasonable and likely/possible to be true - น่ามีเหตุผล
  • pledge: a serious promise - คำมั่้นสัญญา
  • provider (noun): a person/company who gives or supplies something - ผู้ให้
  • pull off: to succeed in doing something difficult - ทำได้สำเร็จ
  • pull the plug on (idiom): to end a project; to not go ahead with something that has been planned - เลิกโครงการ
  • rein in: to control or limit -
  • release: the act of making something available to the public - การนำออกแสดง, การออกวางจำหน่าย
  • research: a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย
  • retaliate: to do something harmful or unpleasant to someone because they have done something harmful or unpleasant to you - ตอบโต้ แก้แค้น
  • scenario (noun): a description of possible actions or events in the future - การสมมติสภาพที่เป็นไปได้
  • screen: to show of a film or video to a group of people - ฉายบนจอ (ภาพยนตร์, ทีวี ฯลฯ)
  • security: protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย
  • senior: with a high rank or position - อาวุโส
  • shore up (verb): to help to support something, often that something that has problems or that is weak and in danger fo failing - ยัน, พยุง, เสริม
  • silent: very quiet; without sound - เงียบ
  • sophistication (noun): the quality of being clever and complicated in the way that something works or is presented - ความซับซ้อน
  • state of affairs (noun): situation; all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์
  • strategic: carefully planned in order to achieve a particular goal, especially in war, business, or politics - ทางยุทธศาสตร์
  • stress: to emphasise; to state something strongly - ย้ำ
  • ties: relations; connections - ความสัมพันธ์
  • trace: to discover the cause or origin of something by examining the way in which it has developed - สืบหาร่องรอย
  • trade: business -
  • trigger: to cause - ก่อให้เกิด กระตุ้น
  • U-turn (noun): a complete change in policy or behaviour, usually one that is embarrassing; a turn of 180° that a vehicle makes so that it can move forwards in the opposite direction - การเปลี่ยนโดยสิ้นเชิง, การเลี้ยวหรือทางเลี้ยวเป็นรูปตัว "U"
  • unlikely: not expected to happen; probably won’t happen - ที่ไม่น่าจะเกิดขึ้น
  • unsophisticated (adj): simple and basic; not complicated; not having or showing much experience of the world and social situations - ง่าย,ไม่มีเล่ห์เหลี่ยม, ซื่อๆ
  • woes: great problems or troubles - ความเสียใจ, ความทุกข์ร้อน

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT