North Korea's Facebook-Style Site Gets Hacked

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Social media is an awkward thing in North Korea since there are restrictions in the country that block many services. This doesn't mean that people don't want to use social media, however. It was only a matter of time before North Korea opened their own version of Facebook, but when they did, it was easily hacked by a Scottish boy.

The website, called StarCon, appeared over the weekend. In both appearance and interface, it worked similarly to Facebook. The site was globally accessible, so anyone could join, an expected feature. Unfortunately, this did lead to some users trying to cause trouble. Fake accounts popped up, but there was no way to work out how many there actually were. The site's public availability might have been an accident as it did disappear quite quickly after being hacked.

StarCon was hacked by an eighteen-year-old boy named Andrew McKean, who got into the system because the username and password were admin and, well, password. By default, the password is as provided with the template, but should have been changed straight away. Thanks to this oversight, McKean was able to mess around a lot on the website. He made it so that links to the site would access a particular YouTube Video, changed settings, and would have been able to delete users and censor words. Basically, McKean had a lot of power, but there wasn't much point in him using it.

The service is now assumed to be back in North Korean hands, and has come offline. Other than the fact it was easily hacked, there are plenty of issues that needed work anyway. Anything posted on the site was immediately classed as having been posted thirty minutes ago due to North Korea now having their own timezone. The system doesn't recognize the new time zone even though their website is hosted in North Korea.

There isn't much you can say about StarCon right now apart from the fact it was hacked. If it does reappear, it needs to have better security next time around.

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