In a move that cybersecurity experts believe could give Pyongyang greater capability to conduct cyber attacks, Russian state-owned company TransTeleCom has provided a new internet connection to Kim Jong Un's regime.
"This new link means two companies would have to cut business to cut the country off", said Martyn Williams, who wrote about the news for 38 North and runs the website North Korea Tech.
China, Pyongyang's most important ally, on Thursday ordered North Korean companies in the country and joint ventures with Chinese firms to close within 120 days of the passing of the latest round of United Nations sanctions on September 12.
In a statement, it said: "TransTeleCom has historically had a junction of trunk networks with North Korea under an agreement with Korea Posts and Telecommunications Corp signed in 2009".
North Korea is believed to have driven various high-profile cyberattacks recently, targeting prominent financial institutions as well as Sony Pictures, CNN reported.
"The addition of Russian transit would create new internet path out of the country, increasing its resilience", Doug Madory, who analyzes global Internet connectivity at Dyn Research, told 38 North. Pyongyang has denied any involvement.
However, a new internet connection from TransTeleCom appeared Sunday. Byol offers foreigners in North Korea 1 Mbps Internet access for 600 euro (US$660) a month (with no data caps). "Nonetheless, some North Korean hackers griped that lack of access to the Internet was interfering with their work", WaPo reported citing an official.
That's significant at a time when the U.S.is ramping up pressure on Chinese companies to sever business ties with North Korea over its missile and nuclear tests.
Through providing internet connections for the North Korea regime of Kim Jung Un, Russia has gained additional influence over the Pyongyang government and the ability to look at its internet traffic, making it a win-win situation for Russia said an online security expert.
He continued to explain that most of the attacks that were conducted by North Korea came from outside of the country using a hijacked machine.
South Korean employees monitor possible ransomware attacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul earlier this year.
The news of the support by Russian Federation comes after a report in the Washington Post that said Cyber Command in the USA carried out a new operation that attacked hackers who were affiliated with the military spy agency in North Korea, this past weekend.
- Birthday boy Verstappen takes victory in Malaysia
- ESPN won't televise national anthem before Redskins-Chiefs on 'Monday Night Football'
- MLB Playoffs 2017: Five bold playoff predictions
- Stardew Valley Coming To Nintendo Switch October 5
- 'Cuphead' sells 125K copies on Steam in three days since launch
- Nioh: Complete Edition Announced for PC; Supports 4K Resolution
- Las Vegas Shooting: What Exactly Are The Gun Laws In Nevada?
- Los Angeles police: "There's been NO shooting on USC Campus"
- Arsene Wenger Beat An Impressive Sir Alex Ferguson Record, Yesterday
- Facebook activates Safety Check following shooting in Las Vegas