On Monday, an accidental misconfiguration of North Korea’s top-level domain name server (DNS) allowed other DNS servers to query for its content. While it may not seem that big a deal, this inadvertent disclosure eventually ended up reflecting the pathetic state of the country’s internet ecosystem.
As it turns out, the communist country under the dictatorship of Kim Jong-Un has only 28 registered domains in total.
While it was always obvious that North Korea, with its strict Internet policies and the lack of freedom of speech, was bound to have a smaller website pool compared to most other countries, no one really expected the number to be quite so small.
As you may have already guessed, most of these 28 websites are government related. The DNS zone files were recorded by the TLD Records project and shared via GitHub. This is the list of all the websites registered in North Korea:
Matt Bryant, the security engineer who first found this DNS blunder says that the server was still broadcasting the info at the time of writing.
Worth noting, such data is available only to top-level domain registrars, meaning one can not simply ask for a country’s DNS for its zone files just like that. To be able to access the zone files, you must have prior approval (just like domain registrars or country-level organizations usually do).