Anonymous and The Jester Team Up Against North Korea

As we’ve discussed before, the parameters and actors in modern warfare have expanded greatly in the digital age. Here’s the latest example:

Hacktivist collective Anonymous and – unusually – some of its enemies have all turned their ire against government websites, propaganda outlets and social media profiles linked to the North Korean regime.

DDoS attacks were launched on Nork government websites and Air Koryo, the country’s airline, after North Korea threatened to restart a mothballed nuclear reactor as part of an escalation in tensions that last week led to North Korea issuing a statement of war against South Korea. Notorious US patriot hacker “th3j35t3r” (“the Jester”) claimed responsibility for the attack against Air Koryo and other sites (here and here), so it’s not just elements of Anonymous that are involved in the attacks but also one of its principal antagonists in cyberspace.

The Twitter account associated with North Korean propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri was also hit, seemingly by Anonymous as part of Operation Free Korea (OpFreeKorea). Urminzokkiri’s Flickr photo page was hijacked to feature a “wanted” poster mocking North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the BBC reports.

The hacktivist collective also claimed to have lifted 15,000 usernames and passwords of users. The site, hosted in China, is North Korea’s main propaganda portal, and a not infrequent target of previous attacks, The Next Web reports.

If Anonymous and The Jester were attacking the US in this way — or worse, since we’re far more dependent on the internet than the DPRK is — we might label them terrorists groups. And with perfect justification, too. But in this case, we find that our interests are in line with the hackers’, and, hey, we should appreciate the help.