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Comment: Are they still down? (Score 4, Insightful) 360

by Phil Karn (#48657641) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down
Is NK still off the net? About a half hour ago I had no trouble reaching the sites - / - / According to, both sites are physically hosted inside North Korea. I see that both are in the block that whois says is assigned to North Korea, and traceroute shows an extra latency (satellite hop?) for that network past China. Is that their only net block? A /22 is 1024 addresses, which I keep hearing is the total number for the entire country.

Comment: Re:Like little children (Score 2) 360

by NewtonsLaw (#48655685) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down

Not such a bad idea... just look at what Lee Kwan Yew did for Singapore -- turned it from a backwards island state into one of the world's most sophisticated, modern countries with low tax rates and enviable prosperity.

Benevolent dictators are sometimes a whole lot better than corrupt (faux) democracies controlled by the movie and defense industries behind the scenes... don't you think?

Who gives a damn if you get caned for chewing gum anyway :-)

Comment: Like little children (Score 0) 360

by NewtonsLaw (#48654705) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down

Is this the USA's response to the claims that N.Korea hacked Sony?

Why am I reminded of petulant children squabbling over who gets to pat the new puppy?

Imagine how much closer we (as a race) would be if we could eliminate all the stupid waste that politics and warmongering produces. Hell, I'd have my jetpack, my flying car and my holiday on the moon all lined up for Christmas!

Instead, unbelievable amounts of money, time and effort are wasted on silly games and squabbles -- while huge swathes of our population suffer at the hands of disease, war, religious zealots and political gaming.

Hard to believe it's Christmas eh?

Comment: Re:of course it wasn't NK (Score 1) 236

Everything about the attack has seemed to be inconsistent with North Korea's tendency towards propaganda.

It just seems... odd... that the attackers behaved consistently like disgruntled employees/ex-employees.

Then Sony started talking about North Korea for whatever reason, and I think the attackers saw that and ran with it, thinking it was a great way to send Sony on a wilde goose chase. Heck, they might have intentionally left evidence pointing towards North Korea from the beginning (I suspect the various tools that the FBI thinks imply NK have already been traded around via underground methods and are in the possession of people other than their original creators/users...). Once there was public talk of NK, I think the attackers just decided it would be effective to screw with Sony regarding "The Interview". It's probably nothing to do with any moral objections to the movie - but it's a great way to cause a major financial loss for Sony and make them think someone else is responsible.

Comment: Re: Sorry, not corporate enough. (Score 3, Informative) 69

You're probably unaware that the GP specifically used 'HSBC' because they were caught laundering trillions of dollars of drug money and nobody was indicted.

He probably isn't unaware of that. He may well have actually read the indictment itself or a detailed summary of it, which made clear that the US case was very weak to the point of hardly working at all. In particular, not only did they fail to clearly establish that drug money was really moving (their case was "there is so much cash, some of it must be from cartels") but in particular they failed to show intent by HSBC execs to help drug cartels. Actually their case boiled down to HSBC didn't try hard enough, they weren't suspicious enough, etc. (I'm ignoring the Iranian transactions here which gets into issues of international jurisdiction, as you only brought up drugs).

The reason you think the are guilty is twofold. Firstly US anti money laundering laws are unbelievably extreme. The PATRIOT Act removed the need to have intent to be found guilty of money laundering. Bankers can now be found guilty of AML violations even if they genuinely tried hard and had no intent to break the law. Hence the accusations from the DoJ that were of the form "HSBC should have designated Mexico as high risk", etc. Secondly as part of the plea agreement HSBC had to act guilty and accept whatever the DoJ said about them. So you only heard one side of the story, the prosecutions side (except there was no court case). No surprises that you think the whole thing is cut and dried.

It's no crime to be ignorant of such things, but just try not to hold any policy positions on the subject.

Given that there was never any court case and HSBC was never able to defend themselves, pretty much everyone is ignorant in this case because we never heard the full story. But I'm pretty sure if DoJ had emails from HSBC execs that looked like the ones from BitInstant there would indeed have been prosecutions.

Waste not, get your budget cut next year.