Narrow range

In a world where the Internet has become an integral part of everyday life, there are still countries where network access is a privilege. One of them is North Korea. About the severity of manners in the North Korean state is legendary. Say that a wrong move or saying inappropriate you could lose not only work but also life. Total government control in North Korea accidentally formed a whimsical virtual life in three ways. Chuchheisty can not only visit the “deep” Internet, but to download porn torrents, if it allows them status. How does the Internet in most closed country in the world and what it’s like to be a user in the era of Songun, to the material “the Tape.ru”.

for a Long time about the access to the network from North Korea was not known. Most likely, it wasn’t unnecessary: the country is extremely developed television, radio and periodicals, which are perfectly cope with the propaganda orders of the party. In addition, when the total poverty of the population (the average salary of a citizen of North Korea, according to different estimates, is $ 3-5 per month) the majority of their own means of communication simply can not afford.

However, in the mid-noughties, the country has decided to acquire its own domain zone — kp. Behind her on the second level appeared com.kp, gov.kp, edu.kp and others. For a long time all the sites were accessible only by IP addresses. In 2016 due to errors to reconfigure the DNS servers around the world were able to access 28 North Korean sites related to the global network. Some of them are available now — the portal of the Central Committee for television and radio gnu.rep.kp, online book national recipes cooks.org.kp and page of the Committee for cultural relations with foreign countries friend.com.kp.

According to the observations of experts, the North Korean part of the Internet really make up only less than three dozen portals. They perform more decorative function — create a visible presence of the DPRK into the global web stream. About the same goals the primary outreach portal “In the circle of our nation,” Uriminzokkiri, available in several languages, including Russian. The site is registered to some anonymous person in China.

Most of the content is a chronicle of the life of comrade Kim Jong UN and reports of a United people. Judging by the publications, the faces of North Korean girls always burns bright blush, the workers of the factories will do anything to new labor feats, and high officials of different sparkling sense of humor, kindness and insight. Interestingly, the names of all three leaders-KIMS, at different times, the governing government, a few are highlighted in the text — enlargement of font and in bold. Therefore, numerous mentions of party leaders in the web page are immediately visible and attract attention.

a Few years ago a propaganda portal, as well as several DPRK accounts were hacked by hackers from the group Anonymous. Cyber criminals required the resignation of Kim Jong-UN, as well as providing all residents access to the Internet.

However, the ordinary people of North Korea, all this luxury is not available. Their destiny remains a national intranet called “Qianmen” (translated from Korean — “bright”). This deep network isolated from the global Internet: it is unavailable to users from other countries and not indexed by known search engines.

access to the “Qianmen” is possible only with computers on the operating system “Red star”, which resembles the development of the American software manufacturers, however, is loyalty to the ideology of North Korea (which often reminds the user). The system has video and audio players, your game and a text editor, a search engine for tiny intranet space of a few thousand sites. It is, as a rule, pages of public institutions, such as universities, libraries, or service Agency.

the Local network is not large similar to the Internet: it focuses more on dissemination of information and communication, entertainment or trade. Email correspondence the North Koreans is limited to primitive postcards with greetings to each other. Social networking “Kanmani” is not provided.

in addition, the access to “on-Site” have only a privileged Koreans: the capital’s residents, employees and students of higher educational institutions, scientists, civil servants. It’s about a hundred thousand people in dvadtsatipyatiletnih the country. They can use the national intranet in special laboratories, reminiscent of the computer clubs. Travel within the country without special permission is prohibited, therefore the inhabitants of the periphery are unlikely to ever get in the Pyongyang intranet cafe. To own a personal computer, the townsfolk are also not allowed: “ideologically correct” machine company Morning Panda are produced in strictly limited quantities, in the interests of the government.

to access the net via mobile Internet is impossible. 3G networks in the country has local provider-monopolist Koryolink, has two levels of access: the ability to voice and text messages in private infoseti and preferential access to the limited mass of the locking web (only permitted for diplomats and representatives of foreign companies). Potentially local mobile Internet available for the tourists but while this possibility did not use, as the cost of access is almost a thousand dollars.

Despite the many prohibitions for the North Korean people, some citizens of the DPRK can still go online. They are members of the party leadership and members of their families, close to Kim Jong Ynu. Different estimates, the number of IP addresses of North Korean Internet users ranges between one and two thousand. Most connections are implemented through telecommunications network provided by China and Russia and via satellite.

From study Recorded Future, dedicated Internet consumption in North Korea, shows that while the whole country is isolated from the global network, attempts to combine General mass of citizens the state elite fail. Analysis of traffic coming from North Korea, showed that senior officials use social networks: for example, go on Facebook, despite the fact that, according to the world’s media, most of these sites (including Twitter and Youtube) allegedly blocked in the country.

Also privileged Koreans read the news on the websites of the Chinese news Agency “Xinhua” and the daily newspaper of the PRC, “people’s Daily”. Like users from other countries, they are browsing shopping websites Amazon and Alibaba and even swing movies from torrent trackers. The level of technical literacy of users clearly low: for example, they use proxies to view porn, and at the same time “hand out” files using a BitTorrent client. At the same time ordinary citizens for the content of “adult” can pay with their lives — even light erotica is prohibited.

Favorite game of the ruling class called World of Tanks. It should be noted that North Korea has its own fun for the export race “Pyongyang racer”, but they have modern and advanced local elite is not keen. Enough to see a demo to understand why.

I Wonder what a tech savvy North Korean elite were capable of quite unprecedented actions. In mid-may of last year, experts in the field of cyber security found suspicious activity outbound traffic associated with the nodes on the bitcoin mining. This coincided with the distribution virus-extortionist WannaCry, the production of which is attributed to hackers from North Korea. It is unknown who is behind the cryptocurrency mining in this country, however, given the small number of computers and limited virtual space it is unlikely that these actions occur outside of state control.

In February 2018, Bloomberg published a monologue a former North Korean soldier cyberarmies Jong Hyuk. According to hacker, North Korea is indeed developing cyber weapons in conditions when the majority of the population has no access to the Internet. The experts-developers of the ruling regime in the first place to make money on a nuclear program of their party: they write and distribute viruses, ransomware, and schemes for mining. The state organizes informal field offices in neighboring countries to protect their reputation.

In this state, hackers are not social elite: the stories of Hyuk, he suffered from hunger and overwork. The rate of development for gosheger, he said, is the amount of 100 thousand dollars a year, while most employees are paid crumbs. His words are indirectly confirmed by numerous statements by members of the South Korean government, who have long suspected the neighbors in a cyber war waged from India, China and Cambodia.

Ambiguous attitude of the government of North Korea to the Internet it is difficult to explain. Unstable multi-level scheme, in which someone can be almost everything and others nothing, it can long and steadily to work, especially if we continue to tightly control the production and turnover of computers and to restrict access to the network. But total control is not enough to create any content about the great leaders and the benefits of working on a virgin soil. To help party — hold a large number of the population below the poverty line: in terms of total poverty to think about social networks, the citizens would not want. Maximum — send a postcard via still permitted “on-Site”.