December 07, 2023

Some North Koreans hack their smart devices to get around state controls: Report

Experts say activity driven by desire for more device flexibility, not necessarily interest in outside information

Some North Koreans are hacking their smart devices with specialist software to get around state control mechanisms, a new report from the non-profit Lumen says, a development which has triggered Pyongyang to draft new penalties in response.

A two-pillar signature system for devices in North Korea prevents non-authorized applications and imprints media files, such as photographs, with a unique code required for sharing with other devices to work, the report explains. The former prevents foreign applications from being used on DPRK devices while the latter prevents outside media files – such as South Korean movies – from being read or saved.