The connectivity problems are coming just days after President Obama warned of a "proportional response" to North Korea, which is suspected of breaking into Sony's network in a major cyber hack. It's not yet known whether the United States is responsible for the downtime. But according to Dyn Research — which earlier this year bought the respected network analysis firm Renesys — North Korea's Internet is currently showing unusual amounts of instability.
North Korea Tech has more:
“I haven’t seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before,” said Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research. “Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently.”
Is this an attack? The chances aren't zero, considering that the few North Koreans who can actually get online tend to be government and military officials. Even if the outages are the result of somebody's deliberate act, proving that the United States did it would be difficult.
There are other questions, too. North Korea's struggles do sound consistent with "cyber vandalism," which is the term Obama used for the Sony hacking, so perhaps this is Washington's idea of a proportional response. Then again, a disruption in connectivity is very different from infiltrating a network and stealing secrets. And we know the U.S. military has a very precise way of talking about cyber operations.