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North Korea Introduces 'Secure' E-mail 255

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-this-is-just-strange dept.
An anonymous reader sent in a strange little story running over at ZD that discusses North Korea's new secure email system. There's a lot of strange bits in there about trained North Korean hackers, and the fact that North Korea's news agency is hosted in Japan.
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North Korea Introduces 'Secure' E-mail

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  • by typobox43 (677545) <typobox43@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:10PM (#7609240) Homepage
    Again, they're just proving that the best security method is just to not let anyone on the system at all.
    • Don't make fun of their guaranteed security. This does a great job of guaranteeing the security of Kim Jong Il.

    • Again, they're just proving that the best security method is just to not let anyone on the system at all.

      Very true! How can you 0wn a box that...isn't there! I saw this interesting report on 60 minutes (an abbreviated version of it can be found here [cbsnews.com], and the full story I beleive can be found here [ninemsn.com.au], but for a fee to Big Bill) a number of months ago showing this interesting photo [solohq.com] of the Korean peninsula. It kind of reminds you of the hoax photo [museumofhoaxes.com] of the 2003 blackout, except that I suspect the Korean photo to
      • maybe NK should start thinking about how to get power to most of their city

        I believe they did have some ideas [ucla.edu], then the US said they'd nuke them [agitprop.org.au] if they tried.

        • by HeghmoH (13204)
          Perhaps if they would halt their nuclear weapons and long-range missile programs, the other nations of the world would consider the case in a more favorable light.
          • by davesag (140186)
            perhaps they are scared? i'm not saying North Korea is at all good, but you've got to see the broader context. The US screwed them with sanctions and overt/covert war. the USSR vanished along with all their oil imports, food imports, aid etc. the US has been threatening to nuke them, reneging on agreements to provide clean power etc. what else the hell would you expect them to do? don't believe most of what you read in the popular press.
  • Umm (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Secure email in a communist state?
  • DictatorMail.com ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:11PM (#7609254) Homepage Journal

    How the system (likely) works:

    The government assigns you a password.

    You send email, people send you email.

    You sleep well knowing that your email can only be read by the sender, recipient and.. that.. man.. with the rubber hose.

    To me it sounds like Kim Jong Il is getting even more paranoid. He's wanting to control (and snoop) all email in within his borders for fear of net-savvy citizens daring to send subversive email. Pretty soon he'll probably start shooting people with glasses ("intellectuals") as Pol Pot did in Cambodia.

    Hint to Kim Jong Il, try feeding your millions of starving children before promising them a corrupt email system few of them will ever live to see.

    • Re: Echelon (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Sure, give it a fancy marketing name like "Echelon" and it's ok, but some crazed ruthless dictator does the same thing and we call him paranoid.
    • by siskbc (598067) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:16PM (#7609313) Homepage
      To me it sounds like Kim Jong Il is getting even more paranoid.

      You think that's a little loopy? Check out Kim's official policy on triplets. [newsmax.com]

      Yeah, he's nuckin' futs.

    • They don't even have Internet access in North Korea, much less email as we know it.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      They have computers in North Korea?!!! [globalsecurity.org]
    • by KrispyKringle (672903) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:20PM (#7609353)
      I think for the most part you are right, but I'm not convinced that this is just a move to be able to snoop on all e-mail. In communist countries like North Korea or Cuba, many services are provided by the government or by government subcontracters, as is the case in the States with public utilities. The reach, though, is far broader than of our public utilities, covering media like TV and radio, telecom and telephones, etc.

      It may very well be that Kim Jonh Il feels that Internet access is critical to his nation's development (as many Americans feel about promoting third-world development in general--teach a man to fish versus simply giving a handout) and is trying to promote it through government sponsorship in the form familiar in his economy.

      I'm not defending him, but there may very well be more here than you suggest.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:25PM (#7609407)
        This is a regime that forces its athletes to shut curtains on their buses when traveling in foreign countries because they might have to bear the sight of all the unspeakable horrors in capitalist countries if those windows were open. Horrors like traffic, I guess.

        At any rate, the last thing the North Korean government wants is an online citizenry.

        This latest press release by the Japanese North Korean contingent is just more floundering of a sadly dying nation.
        • by Alsee (515537)
          Horrors like traffic, I guess.

          List of "unspeakable horrors" they must be protected from witnessing:
          BMW's
          Jordache jeans
          Walkman radios
          Fast food restaurants
          Street lights
          Public and residential telephones
          Home electrictity
          Indoor plumbing
          Food

          The sight of those items could be quite traumatic.

          Unfortunately I'm not joking about anything on that list. I will address electricity and food in particular. Take a look at this NASA image: The Earth at night. [nasa.gov] It shows man-made light sources, effectively a combination of
          • I've been given to understand that the reason North Korea has such a large standing army, is because only in the military can you count on being fed halfway regularly. So everyone who can joins the army, primarily because it's the best way to get their daily rice.

            • First let me revise the 30% figure I gave, the CIA world fact book [cia.gov] reports North Korea spending 33.9% of Gross Domenstic Product on their military. US spends 3.2%.

              ----------

              While what you said is perfectly true, you looked at it from the employee perspective. Now look at it from the employer perspective. The government decides how many soldiers it is willing to employ. Each soldier it hires means one less worker in the economy manufacturing goods, supplying services, or growing rice. Each soldier it hires
              • I said: So first you get hit with a massive paycut THEN your taxes are hit with 27% bump.

                The correct figure is 30.7%. Sorry for any confusion.

                -
              • Good points -- people forget that money used in one place has to come from some other place, it doesn't just magically appear. So if 30% of the GNP, and I'd guess around 50-60% of food production (since the military eat better than the common folk), is going to support the military, it's that much less left for everyone and everything else, with a downward spiral as ever more starving people decide a uniform beats a body bag.

                If 16% was enough to overload the Soviet Union (but remembering that it had a broa
                • point does North Korea reach total collapse??

                  Past tense. It did collapse. That's why 1.7% of their population has been dying of starvation year after year after year. Something like 10% of the population in 6 years. It's just that they are entirely isolated and the ruling party retains an iron grip. Total government control over information. Total blackout of outside news sources. North Korea news is right out of the book 1984. The "news items" are all reports of factory workers exceeding quotas in the he
                  • Yeah, that's pretty collapsed in terms of being a viable situation, but I was wondering more like -- how much longer can it survive before it falls apart to the point that internal control is lost?

                    • No clue, most of the population is thoroughly indoctrinated. They see their leader like national father-figure, dear beloved leader. Remember, this is ultra-traditional asian culture. The father is absolute and unquestioned head of the household. They think of the country as a "body" and the governemnt is the "head". It is the "natural order of things". There is no thought to question the "natural order", the body just does what the head directs. It's a very alien psychology. Think of Japan in WWII but even
                    • That's the picture I have of their national psychology, all right, as generated by a very old and entrenched cultural mindset. Not so much a matter of when it'll implode, but more like when the hive will erupt. I've sometimes wondered if only pressure from China has prevented them from long since overruning the southern border. After all, when you can field that many warm bodies, eventually the opposition on the ground WILL run out of bullets.

          • The lights image finally downloaded... (well, I wanted an updated copy anyway :) Geez, you could draw lines on it where North Korea's borders lie. And if anything, it's "darker" there than on the old image I've got from 3 years ago. This is not progress.

        • "At any rate, the last thing the North Korean government wants is an online citizenry."

          I think that's the least of Pyongyang's worries. Kinda hard to get your computer online when you can't even turn your computer on. Computers need electricity, donchaknow.

          Let's see... we could either abide by this treaty we have with the US and get nuclear power plants, or we can steal the technology, set us up The Bomb and ensure dissidents never have the electricity needed for communications more complicated than tw
      • It may very well be that Kim Jonh Il feels that Internet access is critical to his nation's development

        Or it could just be another of the whims of a demented lunatic.
    • hardly any news to all..

      what's news is that they're even implementing anything, for anybody. i wouldn't have thinked that they would bother.

      the horribility is that a horrible system doesn't really need mega technology(so being afraid of technology because of it might deprive you from your rights is pretty stupid, all that's needed for that is that the wrong guy is telling what to do). an evil(stupid) system only needs snitches, wanabes and just few evil people(tm). sure, total brainwashing helps to keep i
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Hear in North Korea we have bit of Internet but it all controled by ruling party. We had to use anonymus proxy to use internet without ruling party seeing what we look at and say. Kim Jung-Il is terrible man and has no respect for tradition or North Korea people. He is sick but protected by army he made. sorry for my bad english.
      • Thank you moderators for showing how little you know of the world outside your basement bedroom. If you really think a North Korean could get on the Internet and write the above post, I have a bridge for sale.

    • Pretty soon he'll probably start shooting people with glasses ("intellectuals")


      Charity begins at home. [abcnews.com]
  • by DaRat (678130) * on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:13PM (#7609273)
    Of course they can guarantee complete privacy: after the security forces pick up the sender and the recipient and disappear them forever, no one will ever know what was written in the email.
    • How many Internet users, or even how many computer users there are in North Korea, remains unknown, although an Associated Press wire agency report on the email service said that few are believed to have any access. Leader Kim Jong II is known to be online, and has repeatedly mentioned the importance of computer technology.

      There is complete privacy because Leader Kim Jong II is the only one allowed online.

    • by ErikTheRed (162431) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @02:13PM (#7610521) Homepage
      after the security forces pick up the sender and the recipient and disappear them forever
      If only we can get spammers in on this....
    • ...where Coach caves in to the efforts of a salesman and buys a love-tester (or pinball machine or some other gizmo) for the pub because it was "guaranteed to increase sales". Sam, upon learning of this, asks, "guaranteed or what?"...

      ...which is what I wonder about this email service that is "guaranteed to be secure". So if my email gets snooped out, can I drop into North Korea to file a complaint? Do they have a toll-free number I can call? Will I get my money back? Will I survive the experience of

  • North Korea develops a secure e-mail? Those silly North Koreans and their strange thoughts about security... that's just crazy talk. We don't need no stinkin security here in Microsoft land.
  • by RedHat Rocky (94208) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:14PM (#7609294)
    If this is North Korea's attempt to get off my black list, it's a failure.

    Is that where the Iraqi information minister ended up? :)
  • So let me get this straight: In a dictatorship they're letting the peons communicate "securely" ? I call B.S.! Who wants to take a bet on how long it will take for people with access to start planning a revolt (and then be promptly executed)?
  • by stendec (582696) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:17PM (#7609329)
    License2KimJongill: hi what's up
    License2KimJongill: hello?
    License2KimJongill: helloooo...

    Bush43: SORRY CAN'T TALK RIGHT NOW
    Bush43: GOT COLON POWELL ON THE PHONE

    License2KimJongill: i'm pretty sure it's spelled colin
    Bush43: WELL I'M PRETTY SURE YOUR NAME IS SPELLED KIM JUNGLE

    License2KimJongill: shut up

    Bush43: YOU SHUT UP

    License2KimJongill: no you shut up

    Bush43: MAKE ME

    License2KimJongill: make me make you

    Bush43: WHAT?

    License2KimJongill: i have to go too, I have colin powell on the phone too. You're talking to "colon" powell so I bet you have the wrong guy

    Bush43: SHUT UP

    License2KimJongill: you shut up

    Shamelessly stolen from the Kim Jong Il livejournal [livejournal.com]

  • by s20451 (410424) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:18PM (#7609340) Journal
    http://www.kcna.co.jp

    Pretty funny. A lot of stories like, "Ugandan ambassador hails Korean workers". Even some news in Spanish (I wonder if that's for Cuban benefit.)
  • by KC7GR (473279) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:18PM (#7609342) Homepage Journal
    ...that we're going to start seeing encrypted spam now?

    (Sorry, couldn't resist). ;-)

  • by mikesab (652105) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:19PM (#7609344)
    *Salivates*

    Your's Truly,
    Every Known Hacker in the Free World
  • Hard to enforce.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hookedup (630460) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:22PM (#7609374)

    It remains illegal for any South Koreans to email their northern neighbours without government permission.

    I wonder how strict they are about this? How could you possibly enforce a rule like this, considering the amount of wired households in S.K.

    What if someone in N.K sends an email to an email on your mail server which doesn't exist, and your server happily sends out something along the lines of 'this address does not exist'. Are you liable then?
    • Re:Hard to enforce.. (Score:3, Informative)

      by tftp (111690)
      Well, the article says that they jailed six people recently for this offense. I would assume they don't watch everyone, but known activists can be easily monitored.

      However this still does not tell me which of Koreas is more democratic. And this prohibition does not seem to be of any use whatsoever, unless South is paranoid about spies...

      • Re:Hard to enforce.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by RevMike (632002) <revMike@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:48PM (#7609633) Journal
        this prohibition does not seem to be of any use whatsoever, unless South is paranoid about spies...

        Indeed they are extremely concerned about spies and sabateurs (sp?). North Korea continues to be responsible for many provocative acts, including the murder of military personnel inside the the DMZ, the digging of invasion tunnels under the border, terrorist attacks in South Korea, etc.

        The South has good reason to be paranoid.

      • Re:Hard to enforce.. (Score:5, Informative)

        by jedrek (79264) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:56PM (#7609748) Homepage
        Well, North Korea is not democratic at ALL, so South Korea (where you have elections, protests, etc) is the more democratic.

        As far as being paranoid, I think the South is quite paranoid and with good reason. North Korean spies reguarly travel into the south, through a large network of tunnels under the DMZ. NK agents have kidnapped Japanese and South Koreans dozens of times in the past 40 years. South Korea is often infiltrated by North Korean spies who get into the country via small submarines.

        From what I understand, cold war Berlin was nothing compared to what's been going on in Korea since the 60s.
      • North Korea is the totalitarian state, South is the democratic one where US troops are currently stationed? You remember the Korean war? M*A*S*H?
      • And this prohibition does not seem to be of any use whatsoever, unless South is paranoid about spies...

        As other posters pointed out, yes, they are paranoid about spies. But there is another reason.

        South Korea knows about all the bad stuff going on in North Korea. But they want to be reunified so badly that they (the government, at least) are willing to pretend the detention camps, starvation, drugs, etc. don't exist. South Korea is democratic, but its citizens are highly discouraged from talking about

  • Spam (Score:2, Funny)

    by mirko (198274)
    So, Kim doesn't know he's not the only one to get these "enlarge yer manhood" spams and wants to keep these secret from his court ?
  • of course (Score:5, Funny)

    by theMerovingian (722983) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:24PM (#7609394) Journal

    Great Leader Kim Yong Il is computer-savvy. Check out the Frontpage-For-Dummies official site of the DPRK. [korea-dpr.com]

    I would be embarrassed to put pictures of my CAT on a website that lame.

    • by kryptkpr (180196)
      And if you think that's funny.. check out their Flash Demo [korea-dpr.com]!
      • link!

        On the registration page,
        korea-dpr [korea-dpr.com]

        There are three choices for gender-
        male
        female
        other
        Gotta take a look at their biology texts..
        Kim Jong belongs to the third category, without a doubt.
        Also, take a look at the
        SECTION 4. REQUIRED TRAVEL INFORMATION
        They ask for the passport no, issue date, expiry, nationality.. what the fsck are they thinking?

        Those north korean officials will just skim this information off to use for fraud.
    • I was surprised to see tourism information on the DPRK web site. They've never encouraged it in the past, and what they're saying now sounds like Khrushchev-era Intourist. They've got a lot to learn, and could probably learn from the Cubans. Very much Marxists, but all those tourist dollars are just too tempting to ignore.

      The application forms are a hoot, except for the bit about GPS not being allowed in the country. Oh, and U.S. folks not being allowed either.

      ...laura, proudly Canadian, but not plannin

      • Heh. PyongYang is actually one of the prettiest cities in the world. Kim Jong Il siphons all the money and lets the rest of the country starve while PyongYang is perpetually propped up. Check this site [biglobe.ne.jp] out.

        MSBob... proudly Polish AND Canadian :-)

      • Well, check out their Souvenier music catalog [korea-dpr.com] - they have a bunch of CDs and a DVD for "Mass Gymnastics, 60th Birthday Kim Jong Il" listed... interestingly, all the prices are in euros, which I think tells you what kind of people go there. Or maybe they're just too proud to ask for yen or dollars, who knows. I bet they don't ship to the U.S., either. Although I don't encourage (cr|h)acking, it'd be pretty funny to sniff the CC numbers of people who buy that shit...
  • hahaha (Score:3, Informative)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa.SPAM@yahoo@com> on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:25PM (#7609401) Journal
    talk about liberal media! these are the top stories on the N Korean news site:

    U.S. Urged to Accept Simultaneous Action and Package Solution
    Abolition of SL in S. Korea Demanded
    U.S. Imperialists' Aerial Espionage on DPRK
    Japan Not Qualified to Participate in Six-way Talks
    Meeting against Evil Laws Held in S. Korea
    Yakbab, Korean Food
    • Hmmm, gotta love this story:

      DPRK, Dignified Powerful Nation

      Pyongyang, November 30 (KCNA) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is an invincible powerful nation with a great national power enough to firmly defend its just idea, system and cause, stresses Rodong Sinmun today in a signed article. The DPRK is an indestructible political power in which the whole party, the entire army and all the people get united in one mind and an ever-victorious military power, the article says, and goes on:
      The s
  • by sielwolf (246764) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:26PM (#7609414) Homepage Journal
    Because they can't risk having such a honeypot inside the DMZ (heh, check out how the computer argot just got completely flipped back upon itself). You don't want those loyal Party North Koreans (who would run such a service) allowing even the chance of Southern/US propaganda entering the North.

    Better to isolate it outside and communicate with it securely. Would any self-respecting BOFH run his tyrannical regime er network any other way (bad haircut optioal)?

    Also note that a segement of Korean-Japanese (who are descendent from the bad ol' days when the Penninsula was a colony) still see the North Korean regime as the One True way (so getting help to run Il-Jong's isn't too hard). Interesting article on the subject can be found in this JE [slashdot.org]. It's about an American's vacation into the North. Fascinating.
  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <infoNO@SPAMdevinmoore.com> on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:27PM (#7609431) Homepage Journal
    'the data in the email will be encrypted, so only someone that can hack our encryption method can read the text of your email.'
    So, I could still harvest your address, right? It'd be pretty hard to encrypt email addresses while the messages are being delivered:
    POST to 239frj349fu34nf3498f34nf9u834nf9834f....
    nah, I don't think that will work.
  • We are regretting that the Slash Dot web hosting has made these informations public available.

    These informations should be kept private just for North Korean free viewing.

    We have own all your bases.

  • An interesting note at the bottom of the article says that "It remains illegal for any South Koreans to email their northern neighbors without government permission.".

    That sounds actually pretty good for the North Koreans, when you consider the quantity of spam coming out of South Korea.

    Too bad it isn't illegal to spam my country. Or has the spam I get been granted a "government permission"?
  • by Snaller (147050) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:32PM (#7609480) Journal
    You print it out, put it in an envelope and deliver it in person (with an armed guard) - clever! Ping times are bad though.
  • by GeneralEmergency (240687) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:45PM (#7609602) Journal


    No email -is- secure email.

    Taa...dahh!

  • by mcSey921 (230169) <mcsey@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:46PM (#7609609) Homepage Journal
    From the article: "It remains illegal for any South Koreans to email their northern neighbors without government permission. "

    So South Korea is fighting the oppression and censorship of the North with oppression and censorship?
    • by dochood (614876)
      It might be a little hard for Americans to understand this concept, since the Canadians don't have a 1 million man army sitting on the border, and SCUDs with chemical weapons on them, waiting for a chance to invade.

      The Canadians don't send spies down to pick off our citizens and stir up our students into riots, etc.

      The Canadians have not sent assassins to kill our president, submarines to drop off commandos to do who-knows-what, thugs to ax-murder people chopping down a tree, and they haven't bombed any o
      • democracy is a pretty foreign concept to most parts of the world

        Errr... "most"? Some, yes, but not most.
      • Perhaps we DO send spies and sabateurs... and we've just been so good at it you haven't noticed yet! Hmm... on second thought, maybe we've been so bad at it you haven't noticed yet.

      • Canadians don't have a 1 million man army sitting on the border, and SCUDs with chemical weapons on them, waiting for a chance to invade.

        No, but you were very clever to stop all beef imports from Alberta (that's a province). What you've overlooked will be your undoing however. You think that's ordinary beer we're exporting?! How about your comedians--how many of them are actually cleverly subversive Canucks? How about William Shatner? Peter Jennings? Perry f***ing Como? You think it's just coincidence tha

      • Is that the US has done a lot of that, except to Cuba.

        They've sent spies to kill Castro. They've let out animal viruses that made it so that herds of cattle had to be destroyed. They overfly the nation regularly with planes. They've indirectly and directly invaded (Bay of Pigs, etc).

        Castro was hailed as a hero in the US for working to overthrow Batista, who was corrupt. Once they got him out of power, Castra chose communism. He removed the US control that was there, trying to make Cuba independant an
      • Two words: Celine Dion. Muahahaha.
      • by gilgongo (57446) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @05:12PM (#7612053) Homepage Journal
        If you're implying that America somehow exports democracy and social justice to the rest of world, would you care to explain how and to whom?

        What about Cuba, or Nicaragua, for instance? What about Honduras? How about Haiti and Guatemala?

        All those countries have experienced what you describe, and worse, against them and their national sovereignty. So if North Korea's doing it - they probably just see themselves as going with the flow!

        I case you doubt what I say, lets take this little story about Nicaragua as an example:

        20 years ago, Nicaragua was on the receiving end of covert operations, assassinations, funding of guerrilla groups and illegal importation of weapons, etc. all perpetrated by the United States. It was on the receiving end of what most people would call terrorism.

        Nicaragua responded not by bombing Washington, but by taking it to the World Court, presenting a case for which they had no problem putting together evidence for.

        The World Court accepted their case and ruled in their favour. It condemned what it called the 'unlawful use of force' (which basically means international terrorism) by the United States, and ordered the United States to terminate their aggression and to pay massive reparations.

        The United States dismissed the court judgment and announced that it would henceforth not accept the jurisdiction of the court. So Nicaragua then went to the UN Security Council which considered a resolution calling on all states to observe international law. No one was mentioned but everyone understood who was being talked about. But the United States vetoed the resolution.

        The US therefore now stands as the only state on record which has both been condemned by the World Court for international terrorism and has vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on states to observe international law.

        And you think North Korea is bad?

        So - Nicaragua then went to the General Assembly where there is technically no veto but a negative US vote amounts to a veto. It passed a similar resolution with only the United States, Israel, and El Salvador opposed.

        The following year they went to the General Assembly again, and this time the United States could only rally Israel to the cause, so two votes opposed to observing international law.

        At that point, Nicaragua couldn't do anything lawful. It tried all the measures. They don't work in a world that is ruled by force.

        So, um, how does the United States export democracy? How does it help to promote world peace exactly? And how much do you know about what the US government is doing overseas?

        Clearly very little I think.

        • by haxor.dk (463614)
          Hm. The same Nicaragua in where the Sardinistas ruled, slaughtering in tens of thousands? But now, they've been trown out - democratically - and suddently, mass graves start turning up.

          But of course - because the USA intervened in the creation of a cute lil' socialist dictatorship, you have to bash them as un-democratic. Um, yeah.
          • Do you ever wonder why there are people like Osama Bin Laden around? How do they justify what they do? Why do so many people in the world agree with their actions? I'll tell you why - because they see America doing it, so they fight back in the same way!

            For god's sake this has got absolutely nothing to do with "socialism" (whatever you mean by that). If you think it's OK to flout international law, then what are you going to do if North Korea tries to assassinate George Bush because they don't think he's a
  • by mm0mm (687212) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @12:55PM (#7609734)
    from NSA log...

    North Korea has launched an email service that "guarantees the privacy of correspondence"

    "Hi everyone. Since Hotmail is infamous for its backdoor and security holes, I'm switching my email. Please update your address book!

    old address: KimJongIl@hotmail(REMOVE).com
    new address: tyrant@hackers.no-korea(REMOVE).gov

    Yours,
    Kimmy"
  • by fuzzybunny (112938) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @01:02PM (#7609829) Homepage Journal

    So, while the population is starving due to castrophic economic policies, corrupt leadership and an idiotic foreign policy, they will no longer have to play games with the rest of the world, trading nuclear weapons for food.


    I'd love to have a look at what pops up in their mail logs:


    From: Dear Leader (Kim.Jong-Il@securemail.gov.kp)
    To: president@whitehouse.gov (George)
    CC: vice-president@whitehouse.gov (Dick)
    Date: Dec. 2, 2003 18:50
    Subject: North Korea Secure Email!!!11
    ------------
    Dear Capitalist stooge George:

    Invincible North Korean Peoples' Electronic Industry allow secure email discourse with running-dog American lackey. Welcome to glorious socialist revolution communication network! Great Korean Peoples' Hacker Team crush you Network like grape. All you base are belong to us! Hahahaha!

    Love,

    -Dear Leader


    From: Dear Leader (Kim.Jong-Il@securemail.gov.kp)
    To: orders@pizzahut.com
    Date: Dec. 2, 2003 18:53
    Subject: our order
    ------------
    We take 50,000,000 super-size meat-lover special. Hold anchovy. Deliver President Palace, Pyongyang, Illustrious Democratic Peoples Republic North Korea.

    Regard,

    -Dear Leader

    PS: Send Britney.


    From: Dear Leader (Kim.Jong-Il@securemail.gov.kp)
    To: tracy1827@hotmail.com (Peter Green Kabila
    Date: Dec. 2, 2003 18:58
    Subject: Re: YOUR STRICT CONFIDENCE REQUESTE
    ------------
    Dear Mr. Kabila
    Great Democratic People Republic of North Korea very interest in confidential transact. Please send more info.

    Regard,

    -Dear Leader


    From: Dear Leader (Kim.Jong-Il@securemail.gov.kp)
    To: president@whitehouse.gov
    Date: Dec. 2, 2003 19:05
    Subject: You Warheads

    ------------
    Dear Ali,
    Yuo nuklear weapon warhead ready. Freighter leave for Pakistan tomorrow. Please expediting payment expeditiously.

    Cheers,

    -Dear Leader
    ^D^C^C^C cancel
    To: ali@alqaida.org
    SHIT WRONG ADDRESSING

  • by Nonesuch (90847) <nonesuch.msg@net> on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @01:08PM (#7609896) Homepage Journal
    All that work, and they could have just installed one of these [pgp.com] on the DMZ and been done with it.

    PGP.Com products are notoriously overpriced, but I bet North Korea could negotiate a nice discount on a 22,000,000 seat license with A.T.M. Networks Inc, the South Korean sales agent...

    One hitch -- I tried completing the "free download" form with "N.Korea" as the country code, and got this popup:

    'In accordance with current US Export restrictions, PGP 8.0 products may be downloaded by individuals throughout the world except those in the following countries: Cuba, Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. If you are in one of these countries, you may not download PGP software'."

    Ah well, GPG doesn't have these petty restrictions!

  • by AndroidCat (229562) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @01:15PM (#7609970) Homepage
    A year ago or more, I received a "Meet Russian Vommin" spam -- relayed by an open proxy on the firewall box of the South Korea naval headquarters. It took days to find a working Korean abuse mailbox to report this to.

    Hopefully they've improved things since then.

  • by Rotten (8785) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @01:28PM (#7610083) Journal
    Today the details of a new mail system claimed as "Absolutely Secure" have been posted on Leader Kim Jong II weblog available at the same server where the new mail system is being implemented.

    An undisclosed person who likes himself to be called JK2 reported that "today i read my...err his weblog, and i got the details nobody knows about the new system"

    Analysts said the new method is "Brillant" to bring email access to ppl while keeping comunications secure.

    The system, concived by Kim Jong II himself consists in his own computer acting as a server, umplugged from any network or communications device. The gracefull leader himself will answer phonecalls from the population and transcribe the messages for them, absolutely free of charge.
    The message is then keept in JK II "secure server" waiting for the recipient of the message to call using the toll free number and again, Kim Jong II himself will read the message for them.

    The system is absolutely safe from net crackers and identity stealing since only Kim Jong II family have access to telephone services.

    As stated by our misterious "JK2" source, many "free world" leaders have expressed interest in the new system including Chinese and Cuban leaders.

    By yesterday, a very powerfull american software industry leader was analyzing in a emergency meeting held at company headquearters located in Redmond, the possibility to claim a patent on this great mail system while spokesman of a company who wanted to stay anonymous said that system is sure to use portions of intelectual property that belong to them, and they are analyzing charging Kim Jong II family a $600 license to use the system.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @01:32PM (#7610127)
    ... and this scares me. Although I spent most of my teen age years + university life over in Canada, I've lived in Korea for good 14 years. As I grew up, there are bad and goodo things to be heard about people "up" there. One thing, I heard was the rumour that researches results achieved by North Korean top university happens to be better than the best university in South. I've also heard about the top University in North actually does have a better ranking (think North American university rankings published annually) than the top university in South. Now, these are my conspiracy theories about why the posted story is a possible scenario. 1) North Korea maybe forging research result. BUT they do not seem to joke about Nuclear bombs :-) I think they do have potential to acquire "bleeding-edge" cryptography, but probably will take a while to mature. 2) ONLY a few selected children of high ranking government officials get educated. And I assume these are very smart people since the government in places like North Korea wouldn't waste money. 3) There have been spies from North in South. (duh!) BUT some of these spies lived their lives as a professor/researcher at some university, etc etc. (this is TRUE, scary) What else could have they been doing? 4) North Korea will likely disobey any laws about cryptography exports and so on. The algorithm and all the math required are published. I assume using/implementing them just requires one smart brain. :-) I guess this point essentially applies to terrorists as well. 5) Don't forget all that money South gave to North a few years ago. Sure, it wouldn't have been enough money to last for long, but it was cerntainly known that a) North Korea didn't spend money for the public b) The amount of "financial aid" given to North was enough to make South Korean money reservoir dry. People actually blame the _previous_ president for this. 6) The site is hosted in _Japan_ *gasp*. Believe it or not, Japanese always seem to win computer hackerish war over Koreans. For my short period of exposure to Open Source/BSD community tells me that Japanese are faaar deeper into hacker community then Koreans. What doees this mean? I'm probably about to say, North Korean could've got some Japanese hackers working secretly? One interesting note though. I believe North Koreans have their webpages too (for probably 3 years?). It's been a while since I heard of debates in Korea about "Hmm. Should we allow our South dudes to see these North Korean webpages?" I think the resolution was to require government permission to access those pages. SOrry about long conspiracy theory. :-) And I'll post anonymously because I don't want to get arrested!
  • by scubacuda (411898)
    Nigeria offering "secure banking"?

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