Never a dull moment with North Korea…
Via Sputnik News Agency:
North Korea criticized the US for releasing “The Interview”, calling the movie “dishonest”, “reactionary”, as well as “hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK,” KCNA news agency reports, citing the country’s National Defense Commission (NDC).
The NDC named US President Barack Obama “the chief culprit” for releasing “The Interview”, saying he “forced … Sony Pictures Entertainment to ‘indiscriminately distribute’ the movie.” NDC went as far as to say that “Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest,” as quoted by KCNA.
Sony Pictures decided to pull the film from theaters due to terrorist threats. However, the movie was later released in several theaters. The title is also offered online via Google services.
It has been widely speculated that North Korea was behind the attack. On December 19, the FBI officially placed the blame for the attack on North Korea. A spokesman for the policy department of the NDC reiterated that such claims are groundless. North Korea urged the US to provide proof, if any exists, that Pyongyang orchestrated the hack, according to KCNA. It also offered to jointly probe the attack.
Meanwhile, “The Interview” has made over $1 million since its release, and has left quite a few experts voicing their opinion that the entire hack had nothing to do with the North Korean government…
Via CBS News…
Cybersecurity experts are questioning the FBI’s claim that North Korea is responsible for the hack that crippled Sony Pictures. Kurt Stammberger, a senior vice president with cybersecurity firm Norse, told CBS News his company has data that doubts some of the FBI’s findings.
“Sony was not just hacked, this is a company that was essentially nuked from the inside,” said Stammberger.
While Norse is not involved in the Sony case, it has done its own investigation.
“We are very confident that this was not an attack master-minded by North Korea and that insiders were key to the implementation of one of the most devastating attacks in history,” said Stammberger.
He says Norse data is pointing towards a woman who calls herself “Lena” and claims to be connected with the so-called “Guardians of Peace” hacking group. Norse believes it’s identified this woman as someone who worked at Sony in Los Angeles for ten years until leaving the company this past May.
“This woman was in precisely the right position and had the deep technical background she would need to locate the specific servers that were compromised,” Stammberger told me.
Other experts in cybersecurity and private intelligence are also questioning the FBI’s claim that North Korea is solely to blame for the Sony hack.
“There are certainly North Korean fingerprints on this but when we run all those leads to ground they turn out to be decoys or red herrings,” said Stammberger.
For instance while the malware used to attack Sony has been used by North Korea before, it is also used by hackers around the world every day.