North Korea is one of the most restrictive countries in the world but they seem to be testing a social network
The youngster, who is studying computing at college, guessed the logins for StarCon by looking up details of the software used to create the site. A British teenager hacked North Korea’s version of Facebook after correctly guessing a password on Kim Jong-un’s internet servers.
He used “admin” and the default password “password” to gain access to the site’s admin page and says he could delete and suspend users, change the site’s name, censor certain words and manage the adverts.
The teenager – who we are not naming – told Mirror Online: “I was curious and decided to visit it. The site was created using off the shelf software, so naturally i went to the vendor’s website looking at what features it had.
“I came across a default username and password and though why the heck not.
“Once I logged in I was able to see the sites statistics, basic user information, site settings and change the site’s adverts.
Read more: Kim Jong-un blamed for mystery £55million ‘hacking heist’ in Bangladesh bank
“I went ahead and changed the adverts saying that I found the login details then changed them to prevent anyone coming in and trying to do anything malicious.”
The website has a similar design to Facebook – including a newsfeed, likes and profile pages – and was discovered by researchers.
It appears to have been built using software called phpDolphin and analysts say it could be a “trial that was inadvertently made public”.
The teenager who gained access says he was “expecting an error”.
He said: “I was surprised it even worked, surely this should have been changed before going live?”
His advice for North Korean officials is to “always test for vulnerabilities before making a site live, and of course, change the default password”.
He added: “I’d love to visit North Korea one day – though I think i just blew my chances.”
The StarCon website appears to be a clone of Facebook (stock photo)
Read more: North Korea hackers ‘capable of attacks that could kill people and destroy cities’ defector claims
Internet researcher Doug Madory told VICE that the site’s servers are located in North Korea. It has since been taken down by hackers and redirected to a YouTube video.
He said: “It seems like it’s brand new. Very few websites resolve to the North Korean address space, and this one does.
“It seems kind of weird that they would build this, but maybe they did.”
The site appears to be unfinished and many pages are still populated with English filler text.
North Korea is considered one of the most restrictive countries in the world having banned Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Researchers estimate there are only a few hundred internet users in the country.
But the country is not averse to technological development.
North Korea has its own computer operating system called Red Star OS and has repeatedly been linked to hacks including that of Sony Pictures in 2014.
Last year defector Prof Kim Heung-Kwang revealed that the country has thousands of trained military hackers and could destroy infrastructure or even kill people.
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