He Single-Handedly Took Down North Korea's Internet

'Wired' explains how a hacked hacker exacted revenge
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2022 5:20 PM CST
Hacked Hacker Gets Revenge on a Nation's Internet
   (Getty/scyther5)

(Newser) – When a hacker gets hacked, how does he exact revenge? He hacks back, of course. A story at Wired recounts one such example of this truth that has a remarkable twist: It involves an American hacker who got ticked off at North Korea and single-handedly took down its internet. The independent hacker goes by P4x. It seems that about year ago, North Korean tech operatives went after him as part of a wider effort to steal tools from Western hackers. P4x spotted the attack early enough to avoid losing anything valuable, but he grew frustrated that no US agency seemed interested in investigating the attack, let alone punishing North Korea. So he decided to do it himself. "If they don’t see we have teeth, it’s just going to keep coming,” he tells Wired.

Which is why observers of North Korea's highly restricted internet—it's mostly used for government propaganda—began noticing widespread outages last month. But it wasn't an internal glitch or the work of an enemy government. No, "it was the work of one American man in a T-shirt, pajama pants, and slippers, sitting in his living room night after night, watching Alien movies and eating spicy corn snacks—and periodically walking over to his home office to check on the progress of the programs he was running to disrupt the internet of an entire country," writes Andy Greenberg. His story explains how the "denial-of-service" attack works, and how P4x views it as a relatively modest strike. However, he has plans to enlist the help of other "hacktivists" for a stronger hit. "I just want to prove a point," he says. (Read the full story.)

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