Tag Archives: Sony hack

NSA Justifies Blaming North Korea for Sony Hack by Revealing US First Hacked North Korea

Recently leaked documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) reveal that the United States hacked North Korea’s computer system in 2010, in order to monitor the activity of the country’s hackers. This knowledge is being used to justify the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) claim that North Korea is behind the massive hack on Sony Pictures, which occurred in November 2014.

Following the revelation of the Sony hack, the FBI released a statement, saying North Korea was responsible:

“The FBI has concluded the Government of North Korea is responsible for the theft and destruction of data on the network of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Attribution to North Korea is based on intelligence from the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community, DHS, foreign partners and the private sector.”

Some Cybersecurity experts in the United States were skeptical of North Korea’s ability to carry out such a massive hack, and instead labeled it an inside job.

Kurt Stammberger, the senior vice president of the Cybersecurity firm Norse, told CBS News that his firm believes the Sony hack was so devastating, it could have only been accomplished by someone on the inside. “Sony was not just hacked, this is a company that was essentially nuked from the inside,” Stammberger said.

Although many questioned how the agency had obtained such concrete evidence of North Korea’s involvement, the FBI stuck by its claim, giving the explanation that the “Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed.”

On Sunday, the New York Times released a leaked document from the NSA, which revealed that the US had hacked into North Korea’s computer system in 2010.

According to the New York Times, the US hacked into North Korea’s system to “place malware that could track the internal workings of many of the computers and networks used by the North’s hackers,” and the “evidence gathered by the ‘early warning radar’ of software” was used to justify the claim that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had ordered the attack.

Seeking retaliation for the Sony hack, Obama announced a round of sanctions against North Korea on January 2, which will target three companies and ten North Korean officials.

The Independent noted that when President Obama addressed the cyber attack in December, and placed the blame on North Korea, it was the “first time the US had ever explicitly accused a foreign government of launching a cyber-attack on American interests.”

CISPA 2015 Draft Text Emerges Online, Dem Rep Cites Sony Hack As Rationale for Reintroducing Bill

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is a controversial bill, promoted by supporters as a cyber-security solution and decried by detractors as a threat to online privacy, which has failed in two previous federal-level legislative sessions. The 112th and 113th congresses considered the bill, but pushback from civil rights groups and tech giants ultimately stopped CISPA in its tracks. Now, in the wake of a widely-publicized hack targeting employees at Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Hill is reporting that Maryland Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger has revived the legislation and reintroduced it before the US House of Representatives last Friday.

“The reason I’m putting [the] bill in now is I want to keep the momentum going on what’s happening out there in the world,” said Ruppersberger, referring specifically to the Sony hack in comments to The Hill. The technology publications Techdirt and Gizmodo argued that CISPA would not have prevented the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Techdirt characterized Ruppesburger as “the NSA’s personal Rep in Congress,” noting the fact that “NSA HQ is in his district.”

Roll Call pointed out the fact that Representative Ruppersberger himself does not believe that the bill will prevail and said to CQ, “I realize this is not going to pass in this form with me as a Democrat.” However, he said he reintroduced the bill to keep the pressure on in an effort to win Republican representatives over to his cause. In previous legislative sessions, Republican Representative Mike Rogers helped push for the bill, but Rogers has since retired from Congress.

Pirate Times contacted Representative Ruppersberger and obtained a draft copy of the new version of the legislation, which would grant sweeping new online spy powers to federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Agency, among others.

Representative Ruppersberger serves on the House Intelligence Committee, which is considering the legislation. The newest version of CISPA has also been referred to the Judiciary, Armed Services, and Homeland Security committees for consideration. Though Ruppersberger has yet to find cosponsors for the bill, he told The Hill, ““I’m putting the bill in by myself… hopefully that will create momentum.”

Obama Sanctions North Korea, Citing Discredited Sony Allegation

White House Says Sanctions ‘First Aspect’ of Retaliation

by Jason Ditz, January 02, 2015

Even though the FBI’s allegations that North Korea was behind the hacking of Sony Pictures have long since been discredited, with cybersecurity experts pointing the finger at a group of hackers centered around a disgruntled former employee, President Obama today announced a new round of sanctions against North Korea explicitly in retaliation for this.

White House officials termed the sanctions the “first aspect” of the president’s promised “proportional” retaliation against North Korea for cancelling the release of Sony movie The Interview, a movie which was released at any rate.

The timing of the sanctions suggests there’s more than just a botched FBI investigation behind them, however, as the sanctions were announced just one day after both North and South Korea began talking up a summit designed to improve ties between the two.

Whenever North Korea has suggested any sort of rapprochement with the US, it has been dismissed by President Obama out of hand, and this move may be designed to sabotage any South Korean talks, or to at least send the signal that no matter what the Park government decides, the US will remains hostile to North Korea.