Skip to main content

North Korean social media apparently hacked

By CNN Staff
updated 11:02 AM EDT, Fri April 5, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Attack has hallmarks of hackers collective Anonymous
  • Apparent hackings come after Anonymous demands North Korean leader's resignation
  • Official North Korean Flickr account shows image skewering Kim Jong Un

Are you from South or North Korea? Send us your views on the crisis.

(CNN) -- Some official North Korean Internet and social media sites appeared Thursday to have been hacked, possibly by the hacker collective Anonymous.

The hacking -- including an image skewering North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on an official Flickr account -- comes amid rising tensions between North Korea and several other countries including the United States.

The North Korean government website Uriminzokkiri.com was down Thursday morning, and the official @uriminzok Twitter account -- also apparently tampered with -- has messages claiming that Uriminzokkiri, the Flickr site and other North Korean sites have been hacked.

Among the pictures on the Flickr account Thursday: A "wanted" poster with an image showing Kim with a pig's ears and nose.

Crowley: N. Korea's crazy, not suicidal"
North Korea to launch mobile missile?
N. Korea threatens 'merciless' strikes

The poster accuses Kim of "threatening world peace with ICBMs and nuclear weapons."

Another image reads: "We are Anonymous."

On the Twitter account, the usual image atop the page was replaced with one that reads "tango down" -- military slang that has been appropriated by hackers to say they have interrupted service to a website.

The image also shows dancers wearing Guy Fawkes masks. The mask is a favorite symbol of the hacker collective.

If it is the work of Anonymous, it would be appear to be just the latest attack by the group against North Korean sites. Last week, Anonymous, upon leaking account information from Uriminzokkiri.com, announced it would continue to hack North Korean sites if the government didn't "stop making nukes and nuke-threats," according to CNET.

The group also demanded the resignation of Kim, democracy in North Korea, and uncensored Internet access for all North Koreans, CNET reported.

Known for its DDOS, or distributed denial of service, attacks that take websites offline, Anonymous has taken up a number of causes. It had a hand in organizing and agitating in the Occupy movement throughout 2011. It also is known for defending WikiLeaks' Julian Assange and Assange's assertion that all information should be freely available on the Internet.

The hacker collective is an amorphous group that takes pride in not having a single leader or spokesperson, which makes claims by the group difficult to verify.

READ MORE: North Korea's threats: Five things to know

READ MORE: South Korea says hacking not from Chinese address

CNN's Jason Hanna and Ashley Fantz contributed to this story.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:07 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 10:07 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
President Barack Obama says he doesn't consider North Korea's hack of Sony Pictures "an act of war."
updated 5:43 PM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
The U.S. has asked China for help battling North Korean hacking of American information systems, a senior administration official tells CNN.
updated 6:35 PM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Alex Gladstein, director of institutional affairs at Human Rights Foundation, says he'd like "to disrupt North Korea and help end the Kim regime's monopoly of knowledge."
updated 10:43 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
North Korea's fury over the movie comedy "The Interview" appears to have taken the secretive state's oversensitivity to new extremes.
updated 6:36 PM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
CNN's Brian Todd looks into the possibility of whether North Korea received help from freelancers or other countries.
updated 8:57 PM EST, Mon December 8, 2014
A retired Silicon Valley executive and Korean War veteran was hauled off his plane at Pyongyang in 2013. Here's what happened next.
updated 5:57 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
A recent defector from North Korea tells of the harrowing escape into China via Chinese 'snakehead' gangs.
updated 7:39 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
CNN's Amara Walker speaks to a former North Korean prison guard about the abuses he witnessed and was forced to enact on prisoners.
updated 12:59 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
The chief of the Commission of Inquiry into North Korea's human rights says the world can no longer plead ignorance to the regime's offenses.
updated 7:34 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Kim Jong Il's former bodyguard tells of the beatings and starvation he endured while imprisoned in the country's most notorious prison camp.
updated 1:43 AM EDT, Sat October 11, 2014
Despite tense relations, China benefits from Kim Jong Un's rule in North Korea. David McKenzie explains.
updated 4:51 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system" and citizens have "priceless political integrity", the country declared.
ADVERTISEMENT