German researchers detail North Korea’s Red Star OS

German researchers detail North Korea’s Red Star OS

At a conference held this past weekend, two German researchers Niklaus Schiess and Florian Grunow detailed North Korea’s homegrown computer operating system, Red Star OS.

The Red Star OS is a Linux distro – featuring a design ‘inspired’ by Apple’s Mac OS X – which underscores North Korea’s own operating system, developed by the country and for the country. The Red Star OS version which was analyzed by the German researchers -- of German IT security firm ERNW GmbH -- is apparently based on Fedora, and was probably written in 2013.

According to the information share by the two researchers, the analysis of North Korea’s Red Star OS largely illustrates the challenges faced by the secretive nation in trying to embrace the advantages of computing and the Internet, without letting go of its tight clasp on ideas and culture.

Sharing details about the Red Star OS, Schiess and Grunow have revealed that the homebred North Korean operating system is a new system which is paranoid and, in recent times, tasked with squashing the penetration of overseas media into the secretive country.

With the analysis of the Red Star OS having revealed that the OS has its own type of encryption, with its core functions locked down, Grunow said that Red Star OS is “a full blown operation system where they (North Korea) control most of the code.”

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