Last week, North Korea threatened South Korean media companies for comparing Kim Jong Un to Hitler, and on Saturday, a massive cyber attack disabled two Seoul-based newspapers, so it's natural to suspect Pyongyang was involved. But the hack that replaced the JoongAng Ilbo and its English sibling JoongAng Daily's sites with a picture of a laughing cat, and disabled their newspaper production system, sounds a bit more sophisticated than the North's bumbling threats.
For one thing, Pyongyang didn't threaten South Korean media with cyber attacks for reporting critically on a youth gathering, but said it was targeting them for artillery strikes. And as The Atlantic Wire's John Hudson pointed out last week, the North got the coordinates wrong. Also, though the South has accused the North of cyber-attacks in the past, investigators still don't have evidence linking the weekend's attack to Pyongyang, aside from a generally heightened air of tension and the North's awkward threat last week. But considering the fact that North Korea spent $15 for its website, it's hard to imagine them having a team of highly sophisticated hackers on staff.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.