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Why is North Korea a primary suspect in Sony Pictures hack?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 05 Dec 2014 8:36 User comments (2)

Why is North Korea a primary suspect in Sony Pictures hack? North Korea has denied any involvement in a devastating hack of Sony Pictures, the theft of 11TB of data and leaking of movies and personal information of many, many people.
Allegations of the involvement from the shady and mysterious state was met with denials from a North Korean diplomat, speaking with the understanding of anonymity to the Voice of America broadcast network earlier this week. The diplomat described the allegations as just another fabrication targeting the country.

U.S. authorities are still treating North Korea as a primary suspect however, with one national security source confirming as much to the Reuters news agency on Thursday.

The evidence that is publicly known suggests a tie to North Korea but of course it is circumstantial in nature. Sony Pictures had been blasted by North Korea for the planned release of a comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco called "The Interview." They play journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-un during an interview.

As you would expect, the details of the movie didn't go down well in North Korea. The state even sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon describing the film as an "act of war," and claimed it was "sponsoring terrorism."

Similarities between this attack, and attacks carried out in 2013 against South Korea have also been noted by researchers. More specifically, the hacking tools used to carry out the attacks may be the same, or very similar.

The most compelling revelation so far has come from AlienVault, which obtained some of the malware used in the attack and was able to determine interesting information about it. Firstly, metadata analysis showed that the malware was compiled between November 22-24, just days before the Sony Pictures assault. Secondly, AlienVault also determined that the computer used for compiling the malware was displaying text in Korean.

The FBI investigation is ongoing and it will be very interesting to see where the fingers of blame are pointing soon. Until then, hopefully the movie will at least be funny because it now has received a lot more media attention thanks to the attack. In the meantime, here's a video of Seth Rogen talking to Bill Maher about "The Interview," where we also get to hear some "facts" about the dear leader (NSFW!, includes colorful language).




Sources and Recommended Reading:
North Korea still a suspect in Sony attack despite denial: www.reuters.com
The malware that took down Sony was written in Korean: www.theverge.com

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2 user comments

15.12.2014 15:38

Good luck with that one.

N. Korea could give a rat's ass about what we think or our rules. NOTHING the USA can do! NOTHING!

25.12.2014 19:13

Well it will be on Sony from Japan and I didn't see anywhere in this that the US was going after Korea on this subject, just interested in where the blame lies. You've got to give up your USA hatred it's going to kill you. LOL

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