Pyongyang: Only a short time after being spotted online, a clone of the Facebook social network apparently set up in North Korea has already been hacked. The website, StarCon, is modeled on the famous social network, but in its North Korean incarnation is known as “Best Korea’s Social Network”.
Like its multi-billion dollar cousin, the North Korean site allows people from anywhere to register on the website and then upload their profile picture, message friends, upload cat videos, the usual.
While North Korea is known for its strict censorship of the internet with most citizens unable to access the web, the website appears to be hosted from within North Korea, according to Dyn Research, an internet analysis company, who spotted the site on Friday.
The site appears to be named after the country’s Internet service provider, Star, and while it’s not known who set up the site, it’s being run on PHP Dolphin, which is basically a DIY kit for creating social networks.
“It seems like it’s brand new,” Madory told Motherboard. “Very few websites resolve to the North Korean address space, and this one does.” Martyn Williams from the North Korea Tech blog says: “It could even have been a trial that was inadvertently made public.”
Needless to say, it wasn’t long before a parody account of Kim Jung-un appeared on the site. Not long after it emerged on Friday the site existed, it was quickly hacked.
Scottish teenager Andrew McKean told Mortherboard that he was able to log into the website’s backend by simply using “admin” and “password” as the login details.
This gave the 18-year-old full control over the site, including the ability to “delete and suspend users, change the site’s name, censor certain words and manage the eventual ads,” as well as being able to “see everyone’s emails.”
For those keen on registering on “Best Korea’s Social Network,” the website now redirects to a YouTube video entitled “will you give me your channel.”