- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Scottish teenager was recently able to hack into North Korea’s version of Facebook using the password “Password,” and the breach caused the newly launched website to be taken offline.

Andrew McKean, 18, told Vice magazine that the IT department at the “Best Korean Social Network,” a Facebook clone launched Friday on a North Korean server, made the rookie mistake of not changing its default security settings.

Just hours after the website went live, Mr. McKean took control of the site by using the default combination of username “admin” and the default password, News Corp Australia reported.

“Was easy enough,” the teen told Vice. “I don’t know why, but i just wanted to check if it worked, after all this Facebook clone site was new and not much had been done to it.”

Mr. McKean said he had the ability to “delete and suspend users, change the site’s name, censor certain words and manage the eventual ads, and see everyone’s emails.”

Instead, he left the simple message: “Uh, I didn’t create this site just found the login.”

He said he had no further plans to tamper with the website.

The Korean social network, hosted on the StarCon.net.kp, still appeared to be offline Wednesday.

StarCon was first spotted by Doug Madory, a researcher at network management firm Dyn, who said it was rare to see any websites hosted in North Korea. The site was built around a commercial software package called phpDolphin, and many of its pages were unfinished and filled with dummy text, the BBC reported.

“I don’t believe it was intended to be accessible from outside North Korea,” Mr. Madory told the BBC. “I’m quite sure that no North Koreans ever really used it for a social network website despite the fact that it was hosted in North Korea.”

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