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North Korea clones Facebook, forgot to change default creds

Government that already spies on citizens decides it needs a social network

By Simon Sharwood, 31 May 2016

North Korea appears to have created a Facebook clone.

Internet management outfit Dyn spotted the site late last week and helpfully provided the screen shot below for the site, which could be found at www.starcon.net.kp/.

We've used the past tense to describe the site because in the handful of days since Dyn revealed it, the site's been hacked to death.

That feat was made easy, because the North Korean effort looks to be based on white box social network phpDolphin and whoever installed it forgot to reset the default usernames and passwords. That oversight meant the combination of “admin” and “password” did the trick for Scottish lad @mckeany_.

North Korea runs an extensive secret police and knows almost everything about its citizens. That such a government feels the need to permit a social network within its borders is, perhaps, a timely reminder about how social networks make their cash.

All jokes aside, it is also worth remembering that the United Nations' 2014 Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea found conditions in the nation are truly horrendous and that human rights abuses take place with “gravity, scale and nature … that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.” ®

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