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North Korea Gets Second Route To Internet Via Russia Link (bloomberg.com) 73

Russia is providing North Korea another way to get on the internet, according to cybersecurity outfit FireEye. In an interview on Monday, FireEye's chief technology officer for the Asia-Pacific region, Bryce Boland, said that Russia telecommunications company TransTeleCom opened a new link for users in North Korea. Until now, state-owned China United Network Communications Ltd. was the country's sole connection. Bloomberg reports: "Having an additional loop via Russia gives North Korea more options for how they can operate and reduces the possibility for the United States to put pressure just on a single country to turn off their internet connectivity," Boland said. For Russia, it offers "visibility into North Korean network traffic that might help them understand what North Korea is up to." TransTeleCom, a unit of state-owned Russian Railways JSC, is one of the country's five largest communications service providers, according to its website. The company operates a fiber optic network that runs along railway lines and stretches from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg. TransTeleCom "has historically had a junction of network links with North Korea" under a 2009 agreement with Korea Post and Telecommunications Corp, the company's press office said in an emailed statement that offered no other details.
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North Korea Gets Second Route To Internet Via Russia Link

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  • To Japan. Anime might just that country a spin :)
    • "give" was the word I was looking for.
      • What the hell is up with people forgetting verbs lately? Is there some aspect to phone posting that causes people to forget them?

        • Nah.. no phone was involved. I just changed my mind about what / how to write and overlooked the missing verb in the preview. Mea culpa.
        • Intuitively, I think it might be a symptom of chronic stress. Since 2016 I think everyone in this country, with the possible exception of the totally uninformed, have been under a great deal of stress from multiple sources, and it's just getting worse and worse as time goes by.
    • more like 3 generations of punishment if you are found with any of that.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      All these angry shitheads and armchair generals, but nobody's willing to play the long game.

      If we can successfully integrate North Korea into the world community, their contributions to the fucked up porn world are going to be off the charts in just a few decades.

  • Too honest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amalcolm ( 1838434 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @09:05AM (#55300401)
    For Russia, it offers "visibility into North Korean network traffic that might help them understand what North Korea is up to."

    Surely they won't peek?
    • Surely they won't peek?

      You can be certain that they are already peeking. If you have a country run by wacky kooks next door, who are playing around with nukes and missiles, you might just want to know what they are up to.

      Russia most likely has their own USS Jimmy Carter.

      Or they have just bribed or blackmailed some network operator folks to get access. People always think about yet even more higher tech when they hear about spying. No, the older methods are more effective. A bribe is cheaper than hiring a band of hackers.

  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @09:14AM (#55300457)

    Now they can download at 112K!

  • This is just the latest move in a bigger game.

    Not many people noticed, but even while Trump was excoriating China over its support of North Korea and demanding it cut back its support of the rogue regime, Russia was moving in to take up the slack. In the first three months of this year, Russia significantly increased its trade with North Korea. I don't know what more recent figures show, but I have to think it's more of the same.


    • The article cites a 73% increase in Russo-Korean trade. In 2015, Russia accounted for .2% of the DPRK's exports ($5.58 mil) and 2.3% of imports ($78.2 mil). China was 83% and 85% of exports and imports respectively.

      That 73% increase means jack squat.

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @09:49AM (#55300675)

    in Soviet Russia we network you!

  • A sizeable number of Slashdotters will agree:

    Russia is actively undermining the US of A's [potential] hegemony here. Folks in the US administration cannot be impressed by this development, can they?

    For Russia, even after a few rounds of sanctions from the US, its economy reportedly grew!

    Good for them.

    • The Russians don't scare me, though they have my respect.... They are reasonable players in the world so it's not that hard to figure out what they are going to do and how they are going to react to things. They are not going to do something really stupid and get into a shooting type conflict with the USA. They understand it would be a really bad thing for all involved. I think of them like a guard dog behind a fence. They may bark, but as long as I stay on this side of the fence, they won't hurt me.


  • You probably guessed, but because the summary omitted it, from TFA: "Until now, state-owned China United Network Communications Ltd. was the country’s sole connection."
  • by klubar ( 591384 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @10:01AM (#55300751) Homepage

    News for geeks... helpful if someone included the IP ranges so for those who desire to do so, the NK ranges could be blocked.

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @10:21AM (#55300891) Homepage - this is directly assigned by APNIC and is the DPRK's only known native IP space allocation. - this was assigned by China Unicom as part of their connectivity provision for the DPRK, also assigned from the APNIC RIR pool. - assigned by SatGate, a Russian satellite communications provider, and is from the RIPE RIR pool.

      Presumably, they'll now be adding a further allocation (another /24?) for the fixed line into Russia as well. All data obtained from Your Friendly North Korean Network Observer [github.io] (no affiliation), which is worth a read if you're curious out the DPRK's Internet infrastructure, such as it is.
    • News for geeks... helpful if someone included the IP ranges so for those who desire to do so, the NK ranges could be blocked.

      Unfortunately Russia could act as a proxy to confuse the issue.

    • Won't help much. Any hacker will just use a proxy, and their ain't no way you are going to block NK, all proxies that allow Russia to use them, all proxies that allow other proxies to use them, and anyone's machine they can hack into.

      If someone isn't using a proxy from NK, let them. Don't help enforce the firewalls they already have in place. Any opportunity people from NK (even if it is just the elite) have to learn about the world around them, the more likely they will oppose the NK's administration.

  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @10:35AM (#55300995)

    The US hammers China for supporting North Korea. In order to protect its access to US markets, China pulls back a little...on coal exports, for example. Russia moves into the vaccuum and increases its trade with North Korea threefold in the first half of 2017 (specifically including increased coal export to North Korea).

    Russia's investment in getting a friend into the White House is sure paying off!

    • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

      Yep we could go with huge conspiracy theory or we could admit that - sanctions don't work!

      I am not saying they don't have deleterious effects particularly on the populations of target countries but going over the latter half of the 20th century thru the present they don't seem to result in capitulation by leaders, lead to coups by or uprisings by populations with any certainty, and don't seem to achieve objectives like anti-proliferation.

      Sanctions at best buy time. As long as there is money involved someon

      • Who said anything about a conspiracy? That's a subject you're raising, not me.

        Trump's efforts to help Russia increase its global influence are as blatantly obvious as an elephant's erection. No conspiracy here!

    • The volume of trade with Russia is so paltry (3% of all the DPRK's trade) that this year's 73% increase is next to meaningless.
      • If you understand only cash value and not influence, then Putin would clean you out if you ever had any position of authority in a government.

        • Yes, yes, Putin loves to leverage soft power and there are at least a dozen different reasons for these moves. Hell, he could be thinking that the DPRK will collapse and wants to get a head start on an overland connection to South Korea. It could be that he just wants to annoy us, or more likely, that he's going to have companies that are already so heavily sanctioned that the DPRK related sanctions have no effect go in so he can say, "lift the sanctions and we'll cut ties". (which is my bet, ending the s
  • ... some Comcast cable guy goes up a pole and 'accidentally' cuts the line.

    • Where I live, they can mess things up from the home office.... No need to climb a poll or cut anything.
  • ...to cut off an already isolated, despotic regime with nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, with a leader that craves international attention. Sooner or later, you're gonna have to sit down and talk with them. The alternative may be a nuclear warhead going off somewhere in south-east Asia, probably densely populated.

"For the man who has everything... Penicillin." -- F. Borquin