×

Web blackout in North Korea as Pyongyang mocks Obama

Internet wires connections
Vschlichting | Getty Images

North Korea's Internet and wireless connectivity was interrupted yet again, experts at DYN Research reported on Saturday, adding to tensions between the hermetic nation and the U.S., which it blames for the service disruptions.

In the wake of U.S. officials having implicated Pyongyang for the massive cyber-breach against Sony, North Korea's Web access has been intermittently and mysteriously interrupted. DYN, which tracks Internet performance data worldwide, was the first on Monday to flag that North Korea's Web service had been completely blacked out.


Analysts at DYN said previously the failure could be the work of "a fragile network under external attack," but may also be consistent with other reasons such as power failures.

"This time, there wasn't the hours of routing instability that presaged the outage like last time," said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at Dyn on Saturday. "If an outside force took it down again, it did it more efficiently than the previous incident."

On Saturday, reports emerged that both Web and 3G cellular service had suffered widespread outages.

The latest report raises the stakes in a bitter war of words between North Korea and the U.S., and hinted at a cyberwar between the two countries. Pyongyang has faulted Washington for the Internet problems while simultaneously denying involvement in the hack against Sony —seen as a retaliatory gesture for the making of "The Interview", a buddy comedy that depicts a plot to assassinate North Korean president Kim Jong Un.

The National Defence Commission, the North's ruling body, chaired by state leader Kim Jong Un, said President Barack Obama was responsible for Sony's belated decision to release "The Interview," Reuters reported.

Read MoreWorried after the Sony hack? Destroy your emails

"Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest," an unnamed spokesman for the commission said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment on Saturday.

Hackers identified as The Guardians of Peace had threatened to hack any theater that showed the film, leading major U.S. chains to renege on plans to show "The Interview." Sony, however, managed to cobble together a limited release for independent theaters and Web outlets, in part to quell a massive public outcry about the restrictions on artistic freedom.

Meanwhile, a growing number of analysts are questioning whether a Communist country that can barely keep its own lights on has the wherewithal to pull off one of the most sophisticated and devastating cyber intrusions the world has ever seen.

Read MoreNorth Korea goes completely offline: Report

The belated release of "The Interview" appeared poised to up the ante between the two nations. On Friday, a North Korean government official slammed the movie but said the release would not trigger a "physical response" from the nation.


--NBC News and Reuters contributed to this article.