Thursday 22nd February 2018,

Korean American

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Ars Technica: Korean American Team Wins ‘Hack North Korea’ Competition

posted by Theodore Tae

North Korea FlagHow do your reach the most isolated country on the planet?

A team of Korean American hackers helped answer this age-old question this past weekend by winning a hackathon aimed at bringing aid to North Koreans, reports Ars Technica.

Sponsored by the Human Rights Foundation, the first-ever ‘Hack North Korea’ competition attracted activists, engineers, students and North Korean defectors to a warehouse in San Francisco where the event was held. The judging panel for the hackathon consisted of three North Korean defectors, including a former professor who taught cyberwarfare in North Korea.

The winning team’s idea, which is still in its development stages, is to import satellite receivers so that people in North Korea would be able to pick up transmissions from South Korean broadcaster SkyLife.

The Human Rights Foundation said it will secure complete funding for the idea.

“Right now North Korea is a hermit state. If we can at least get to a state where you can use Twitter, then people will understand what’s going on outside,” said Matthew Lee, one of the team members. “That’s the first catalyst and then they can use our device to create a shadow network and with that, they can bring about a change within their own social context.”

Lee and his teammates, 17-year-old students Madison and Justice Suh, won a round-trip flight to Seoul, South Korea where they will meet with North Korean defectors and activist organizations.

You can read more about the hackathon and the winning team’s idea at Ars Technica.


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