North Korea's internet is having serious problems
If the outage is in fact the result of a US attack, it would represent a wholesale attack on a country's access to the internet, setting a dangerous precedent of retaliation against targeted attacks. Access to the web in North Korea is generally restricted to military or government uses, so the downtime would have no effect on the average citizen, but the precedent could be used to justify far more destructive denial-of-service attacks. Still, it's just as plausible that the downtime is the result of internal North Korean operations or simple infrastructure problems. Until more evidence surfaces, it's difficult to say for sure.
The United States Asked China To Cut Off North Korea’s Access To The ‘Net
Now that Sony has officially cancelled Thursday’s release of The Interview, and the United States government has confirmed that North Korea was behind the Sony hacks that have revealed everything from upcoming movies to controversial e-mails sent between Sony executives, President Obama has spent the past few days considering his next course of action. According to the New York Times, one of those courses involves soliciting China’s help in completely blocking North Korea’s access to the internet, but even that strategy comes with a bit of a snafu.
It is unclear that China would choose to help, given tensions over computer security between Washington and Beijing since the Justice Department in May indicted 5 hackers working for the Chinese military on charges of stealing sensitive information from American companies.
“What we are looking for is a blocking action, something that would cripple their efforts to carry out attacks,” said one senior administration official to the Times, which would be part of a “proportional response” to the hackers actions over the past few weeks.
Only time will tell whether or not China will be interested.