Anonymous is beginning to get my attention.
Actually they first got my attention when they claimed to have hacked Karl Rove’s “Get Out The Vote” operation. Those guys are fearless…
Just as we thought U.S. relations with North Korea couldn’t get any worse, Anonymous comes along and hacks Kim Jong-un’s Twitter and Flickr Accounts. As Alexander Abad Santos succinctly puts it in the headline for his article on AtlanticWire, “Anonymous Can’t Stop North Korea, but They Can Turn Kim Jong-un into a Pig.” And so they did, by hacking into North Korea’s propaganda Web site, http://www.uriminzokkiri.com, and its related social media outlets. (NOTE: At the time of this writing, the http://www.uriminzokkiri.com site was unavailable)
One can only imagine how The Onion’s “Sexiest Man of the Year” reacted when he logged onto Twitter and saw THIS:
— uriminzokkiri (@uriminzok) April 4, 2013
Or, when he logged onto his Flickr account and saw THIS!:
In keeping with tradition, the folks from the AnonKorea cell of Anonymous also uploaded a video press release (shown below) to YouTube announcing their exploits. First, they issue a greeting, and make it clear that they loathe the U.S. government as much as they loathe the North Korean government :
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! (transcription sic)
Then, AnonKorea and friends make the following demands:
- 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!
Ummmm …. like that’ll ever happen. I hate sounding so skeptical, because I’m an admirer of the folks from Anonymous. Although their hacking is against the law, a warm flame of hope burns within my cold, shriveled heart every time I hear about them hacking some other evil organization. After all, this is one of the few effective tools for civil disobedience, the few tools ordinary citizens (or at least ordinary computer whiz kids) have left — in the United States, as well as in North Korea.
Yet, I can’t help but wonder what AnonKorea hopes to accomplish with this latest stunt. Get the entire staff of Uriminzokkiri.Com tortured and killed for letting this happen? Does the pint-sized potentate of Pyongyang really care that some of his people may have caught a fleeting glimpse of him as a pig, with Mickey Mouse’s face emblazoned on his paunchy stomach? Adam Taylor fromBusiness Insider shares my skepticism.
Taylor first mentions that these hacks haven’t really accomplished very much towards freeing North Korea:
These attacks do make Kim Jong-un’s regime look silly to the outside world, but given that he looks pretty ridiculous already, that’s an extremely minor victory. Internally, most North Koreans will never know about these attacks as they cannot access the Internet.
He also writes that the demands are unrealistic and “ridiculous” and that the workers and “lower-ranking officials” who were unfortunate enough to have these “cyber attacks” occur on their watch are probably in deep trouble now:
While the attacks don’t appear to be devastating to North Korea, they are embarrassing. The North Korean elite will want answers, and will probably want people punished.
U.S. relations with North Korea seem caught in a downward death spiral as Kim Jong-un grows increasingly bellicose. In early February, North Korea conducted illegal nuclear tests and released a bizarre propaganda video with a sleeping man dreaming of a nuclear attack on the United States, accompanied by the bizarrely inappropriate 1980′s peace ballad, “We Are The World.” Then, not to be outdone, last week the U.S. flew some F-22 stealth bombers from a base in Missouri to Osan, South Korea to participate in military drills with our neighbors. After much urging from the U.S., China gave naughty North Korea a little spanking and stepped up their inspections for Pyongyang-bound cargo. Nonetheless, Kim Jong-un essentially declared war on the United States by “beginning the process of preparing its missiles for an attack,” as reported by my AI colleague, Nathaniel Downes.
- North Korea’s Twitter and Flickr Accounts Have Been Hacked (gizmodo.com)
- Kim portayed as pig in North Korea Twitter hack (itv.com)
- Hackers target North Korea Twitter feed (wcpo.com)
- Kim Jong ‘Mickey Lover’ (smh.com.au)
- Anonymous hack North Korea social media (stuff.co.nz)
- Official North Korea News, Twitter Accounts Hacked by Anonymous (latinospost.com)