Anonymous have never shied away from standing up for a cause they believe in. In keeping with their ethos of liberation and information freedom the group has hacked and vandalised North Korean social networking accounts following the county’s renewed nuclear threats.
Last month, after years of blatant disregard for anti-nuclear pleas and UN regulations, North Korea intensified its nuclear testing, threatening to attack South Korea and the U.S, re-opening closed nuclear facilities to bolster its power in ‘quality and quantity’. Beginning attacks of its own, hacktivist group Anonymous has since hacked into ‘Uriminzokkiri’, a North Korean news site, as well as its Twitter account. The Twitter feed displayed posts stating “Hacked”, with the account’s avatar replaced with a dancing couple and the words “Tango down”. The Flickr page associated with the site was also breached and displayed mocking images of Kim Jong-un, alongside the words “Wanted.”
Very few North Koreans have access to the internet, which has been compared to a corporate intranet rather than the internet used elsewhere. Considering this, the above security breaches are not as passive as they sound and any breach into government/ media sites would be taken extremely seriously. In addition to these, Anonymous claims that it was able to access ‘15,000 usernames and passwords from a university database’ according to bbc.co.uk, and the country’s airline, Koryo, has also ‘been hit with a Distributed Denial of Service attacked (DDoS) – a technique which involves flooding a website with too much traffic for it to handle.’
These will be worrisome breaches for the notoriously secretive government, but the Anonymous mission dubbed “Operation Free Korea”, does not plan on bringing the nation to its knees alone. They have called for the people of North Korea to join them in their endeavor to make leader Kim Jong-un step down in favour a democratic society with free, uncensored access to media.
Their calls for action from North Korean citizens include –
“To the citizens of North Korea we suggest to rise up and bring [this] oppressive government down!”
“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.”