North Korea the isolated totalitarian state, is still cool enough to have their own social network, it turns out.
Last week, it was discovered that a social network called “Best Korea’s Social Network” was created in North Korea and it looks an awful lot like Facebook.
Even more, just days after its discovery, it was reportedly hacked by an 18-year-old Scottish college student. The website, which was accessible at http://starcon.net.kp/, is currently offline.
Doug Madory, director of internet analysis firm Dyn, discovered the platform on Friday:
— Doug Madory (@DougMadory) May 27, 2016
Madory, who suspects someone in North Korea made it as a test, told CNNMoney:
“It’s very unusual to have websites hosted in North Korea. [I’m] not sure this was an official North Korean government project. But someone inside the country had to have done this.”
The North Korean social network was created using phpDolphin, a template-based software system that allows anyone to clone Facebook.
CNNMoney reporter Hope King created her own profile before the site was taken down:
Hours after the site was discovered, 18-year-old college student Andrew McKean hacked the social network after guessing the default security credentials for phpDolphin, which were left as “admin” and “password”, according to The Telegraph.
McKean immediately took over the advertising slots and filled them with the message “Uh, I didn’t create this site just found the login” and linked it to his Twitter page.
McKean told Motherboard that he considered redirecting the website to an anti-North Korea page, but by Tuesday the site was taken offline.
Reportedly, the social network was already filled with joke profiles of Kim Jong-Un in the short time that it was up.