New World Hackers, a hacktivist group associated with Anonymous, responded to North Korea’s latest military satellite launch with a sophisticated attack of their own, allegedly taking down the secretive government’s state website.
Within a few hours of Sunday’s launched satellite, the hacking group targeted three websites belonging to the totalitarian regime.
“Our main motive for these attacks was to stop communications between the satellite and the website, leaving the government wondering why they can’t launch a test, or possibly even a real missile strike at any point in time.” the NWH said during an interview with Newsweek. “If you attack a site linked to a satellite that constantly updates off of that site, you’re really disrupting something somewhere. We at least slowed down their progress.”
— ☠New World Hackers☠ (@NewWorldHacking) February 8, 2016
The type of hack used by the group was a distributed denial of service or DDoS attack, which overloads servers used to host websites with traffic from multiple sources. According to Newsweek, it was not clear whether communications with the satellite were affected, but the hackers did provide proof of sites being knocked off-line.
NWH is credited with the largest DDoS cyber attack to date, with their online blitzkrieg that took place in December 2015, taking down all of the BBC’s websites and disabling them for a period of several hours using a “BangStresser” tool.
The same technique was used repeatedly by NWH to disrupt Donald Trump’s campaign website and a dozen websites associated with the Islamic State Militant Group (ISIS) as part of Anon’s OpISIS campaign.
The New World Hackers stated that while it takes part in campaigns operated by Anonymous and supports the hacktivist collective, it will remain an independent group with its own agenda.
North Korea claims the military satellite was launched to track whether patterns, but the United States and other countries have accused Pyongyang of hiding a ballistic missile testing program.
“North Korea continues to develop their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and it is the responsibility of our alliance to maintain a strong defense against those threats,” General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, U.S. Forces Korea commander, said in a statement.
The United Nations Security Council “strongly condemned” North Korea’s latest rocket launch, vowing to take punitive steps. Washington has also vowed to ensure the 15-nation body imposed “serious consequences” on Pyongyang.