A hacker, or hackers, purporting to be part of the Anonymous group claim to have got their hands on more than 15,000 passwords belonging to users of Uriminzokkiri.com, one of North Korea’s primary sites on the Internet.
The posting, which is in English, boldly demands that Kim Jong-un resigns and installs free democracy in the country. It also calls on the country to stop its commitment to nuclear weapons and introduce universal Internet access for its citizens. According to the note, the hacker/hackers have access to the country’s local intranets, mail servers and Web servers and are promising to wreak more havoc later this month as part of the Anonymous #OpFreeKorea campaign.
“First we gonna wipe your data, then we gonna wipe your badass dictatorship ‘government’”, the statement says.
Looking at the names of the email addresses of the half a dozen supposed leaks, three appear to be Korean, with the other three Chinese.
Based on the data, the passwords appear to be hashed, which provides some basic security against theft. Passwords are run through an algorithm to generate hashes and, though they can be ‘cracked’, it is a better option than storing plain text passwords.
While it is not clear how strongly the self-professed hackers are affiliated with Anonymous or, indeed, if the claim of 15,000 user credentials is legitimate, the news follows a series of initiatives from the Anonymous group in response to North Korea’s closed Internet, harsh regime and growing hostility to South Korea, the US and other countries.
Anonymous hackers claimed to have taken five of the country’s websites offline over the weekend, with Uriminzokkiri.com said to have been one of those the sites that was successfully targeted. The site has suffered other hackings in the past, going down as recently as January 2013.
The site is North Korea’s main news and ‘information’ (also know as propaganda) portal, and it even has a presence on Twitter. The @uriminzok account began tweeting in August 2010 and currently has more than 13,000 followers.
North Korea was suspected of leading a recent attack on South Korea that saw computer networks at banks and broadcasters go offline due to malware.
Over the weekend, tensions with neighboring South Korea were raised as officials in North Korean capital Pyongyang declared the country is “entering a state of war” with its rival.
Even if this attack wasn’t coordinated by central figures at Anonymous, and regardless of how many credentials were grabbed, it shows that the ‘hacktivist’ community is turning its attention to North Korea. The next activity for the Anonymous #OpFreeKorea campaign is slated as happening on April 19, at which time we’re likely to know more about the kind of access that hackers have to North Korea’s Internet presence.
Hello, citizens of the world.
We are Anonymous
North Korean government is increasingly becoming a threat to peace and freedom.
Don’t misunderstand us: As well we disagree with the USA government too – these guys are crooks, USA is a threat to world peace too, and direct democracy (or any kind of democracy) doesn’t exist there. The American government is a target and enemy of Anonymous as well!
This is not about country vs country – This is about we, the people, the 99% (of USA and of North Korea) vs oppressing and violent regimes (like USA gov. and N.K. gov)!
We, the people, are gathering together because we are stronger now and we won’t fight your wars anymore, we won’t eat your shit anymore!!!
– N.K. government to stop making nukes and nuke-threats
– Kim Jong-un to resign
– it’s time to install a free direct democracy in North Korea
– uncensored internet access for all the citizens!
To Kim Jong-un:
So you feel the need to create large nukes and threaten half the world with them?
So you’re into demonstrations of power?, here is ours:
– We are inside your local intranets (Kwangmyong and others)
– We are inside your mailservers
– We are inside your webservers
Enjoy these few records as a proof of our access to your systems (random innocent citizens, collateral damage, because they were stupid enough to choose idiot passwords), we got all over 15k membership records of http://www.uriminzokkiri.com and many more.
First we gonna wipe your data, then we gonna wipe your badass dictatorship “government”.
To the citizens of North Korea we suggest to rise up and bring these motherfuckers of a oppressive
We are holding your back and your hand, while you take the journey to freedom, democracy and peace.
You are not alone.
Don’t fear us, we are not terrorist, we are the good guys from the internet. AnonKorea and all the other Anons are here to set you free.
We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget