information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help…a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
Now let’s give credit where credit is due. When it comes to propaganda, North Korea is second to none.
Just check out what mighty leader Kim Jong-un has been up to lately:
It’s in the North Korean media, so it must be true – reports and pictures published in the state-owned Rodong Sinmun newspaper document his triumph over North Korea’s highest peak: 9000ft high Mt Paektu.
He wore nothing more than an overcoat, looking spiffy sporting leather dress shoes.
Pictures taken at the peak (dramatically lit by the sunrise) document the conquering climber’s success. Even more inspiring was the speed at which the North Korean athlete/dictator completed his climb. Apparently he was so speedy that no one actually saw him do it.
Kim Jong Un has such impeccable fashion sense that his government has approved 28 official sanctioned haircut styles. And all North Koreans (must) face the agonizing decision of choosing one of them.
Descendant of a Unicorn Rider
If you consider unicorns to be the fodder of fantasy, able to be captured and ridden only by maidens using bridles of silver, the North Korean press has a (literal) bone to pick with you.
The North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) “reconfirmed” that scientists located a burial site containing the remains of a unicorn. The site was discovered near a temple in the nation’s capital of Pyongyang, affirming the legitimacy of the current regime’s seat of power. How did the scientists know where to look, you ask? Happily, they stumbled upon a rock bearing the cryptic inscription “Unicorn Lair”.
With the North Korean press ready and able to answer all questions (asked and unasked) concerning their fearless leader, it’s perhaps particularly satisfying that internet users all around the world were recently treated to an accidental leak from North Korean propaganda websites. The leak occurred on September 20th, 2016, giving foreigners access to the 28 sites registered on the .kp domain.
Apparently the North Korean nameserver– which stores information of all of the domains existing under .kp— was misconfigured. This allowed users to request information on the DNS data, thereby revealing the domain’s ties to North Korea.
Researchers at the TL;DR project discovered the loophole, and gained access. Soon after, they posted data on GitHub aggregated from the sites, along with a message that read:
“On Sept 19th, 2016 at approximately 10:00PM (PDT), one of North Korea’s top level nameservers was accidentally configured to allow global DNS zone transfers. This allows anyone who performs an AXFR (zone transfer) request to the country’sns2.kptc.kp nameserver to get a copy of the nation’s top level DNS data. … This data gives us a better picture of North Korea’s domains and top level DNS.”
The leak effectively let the rest of the world to take a peek into how and what the government propaganda machine is feeding the online North Korean public.
According to reports, the sites posted activities from Kim Jong-un that included his visit to a fruit farm and his contributions concerning the establishment of a youth organization There was also a site titled friend.com.kp that appears to be Big Brother’s Facebook clone (the login was “Admin” and password was “password”, if you’re curious). Want to be friends with a magical, athletic, well-barbered regime leader?
Funny? Depends on your viewpoint.
Data breaches are of course less humorous when they are like the one that just happened at Yahoo: 500 million accounts breached in what is being called the ‘worst hack ever.’ People who want your data are everywhere— whether you’re a multinational corporation, the dictator of North Korea, or an individual who wanting to play Farmville or check your bank balance. Weak passwords and human error create vulnerability.
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