North Korea’s tiny piece of the global Internet went dark altogether Monday, after flickering on and off over the last 24 hours, and experts said it could be a cyberattack or a pre-emptive online retreat by Pyongyang. “The North Korean IP space is not reachable from anywhere on Earth right now. It’s a national shut down,” said Jim Cowie, chief scientist of Dyn Research, which monitors global Internet connectivity.
Shortly after noon ET, “it went out, and did not come back up,” he added.
About a day of intermittent connectivity preceded the shutdown, according to Dyn Research and other companies’ observations. Almost the entirety of the very small North Korean Internet of approximately a thousand Internet protocol addresses is routed through the Chinese state-owned Internet service provider Chinese Unicom. “That presents a very small attack surface for anybody who wants to take it out,” Cowie noted.