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Tag: north korea

How U.S. Came to Blame North Korea for Cyber-Attack of Sony

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

President Obama and the FBI blamed North Korea for the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November based on information that was collected when the NSA hacked into the country’s computer systems in 2010, the New York Times reports.

The NSA eventually was able to penetrate directly into North Korea’s system and use malware to monitor the internal workings of computers and networks of many of North Korean hackers, most of whom are commanded by the country’s main intelligence service.

The evidence gathered in the hack convinced President Obama that North Korea was behind the attack.

It was the first time the U.S. ever accused another country of striking American targets with a cyberattack.

 

FBI Director Comey: No doubt that North Korea Behind Cyber-Attack on Sony

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI Director James B. Comey said on Wednesday that he has no doubt that North Korea was behind the devastating cyber-attacks on Sony Pictures, the New York Times reports

Comey said the hackers were easily trackable because they made a critical error by failing to conceal their location, sending messages and attacks from North Korean Internet addresses. More sophisticated hackers would have routed their attacks and messages through decoy servers – something the hackers tried to do after realizing they were using their country’s Internet addressees, Comey said.

That was all Comey said about the evidence against North Korea, which has denied playing a role in the attack. Private cyber-security firms have expressed doubt that North Korea was the attacker, saying disgruntled Sony employees could have been to blame.

But Comey said the evidence is very clear.

FBI Director Comey to Explain Why FBI Believes North Korea Was Behind Sony Attack

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Cyber-security experts have expressed skepticism about the FBI’s claims that North Korea was involved in the hacking attacks of Sony, Gizmodo reports

After days of silence, FBI Director James Comey is expected today to present the bureau’s case that North Korea was involved during a speech at the International Conference on Cyber Security at Fordham University.

The FBI also caught criticism after saying the same hackers wanted to attack a news media organization. Authorities believe that threat was a hoax.

Some cyber-security experts don’t believe there’s enough evidence to link North Korea to the attacks, and some experts have said that former Sony employees were behind the attack.

FBI Maintains North Korea Was Mastermind Behind Sony Hack Despite Other Evidence

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is not backing down on its claim that North Korea was the mastermind behind the disruptive Sony studio hack, the New York Post reports.

The bureau’s insistence comes after a growing number of private cyber-security firms are saying there is no evidence to conclude North Korea was the mastermind.

FBI agents were briefed earlier this week on a theory that the attack was launched by former disgruntled Sony workers.

In a statement, the FBI said North Korea was responsible, citing ” “intelligence from US intelligence community, DHS [Department of Homeland Security], foreign partners and the private sector.”

The FBI added “no credible information to indicate that any other individual is responsible for this cyber incident.”

FBI Agents Briefed on Theory That Disgruntled Sony Workers Staged Cyberattack – Not North Korea

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI agents investigating the cyberattack on Sony Pictures were brief Monday on an alternative theory that points the finger at disgruntled, laid-off staff – not North Korea – as the culprits of the devastating hack, Politico reports.

Security firm Norse provided the information and said the U.S. jumped the gun by blaming North Korea without conducing a proper investigation.

“When the FBI made the announcement so soon after the initial hack was unveiled, everyone in the [cyber] intelligence community kind of raised their eyebrows at it, because it’s really hard to pin this on anyone within days of the attack,” Kurt Stammberger said in an interview as his company briefed FBI investigators Monday afternoon.

The meeting didn’t change the FBI’s suspicions that North Korea was behind the attack.

“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,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “There is no credible information to indicate that any other individual is responsible for this cyber incident.”

FBI Discloses Evidence Linking North Korea to Hacking of Sony Computers

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Friday offered evidence that links the North Korean government to the hacking of Sony Pictures computers.

“We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there. Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States,” the FBI said in a statement.

The FBI, in a press release disclosed evidence it has gathered in the probe.

The release states:

  • 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. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks.
  • The FBI also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyber activity the U.S. government has previously linked directly to North Korea. For example, the FBI discovered that several Internet protocol (IP) addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with IP addresses that were hardcoded into the data deletion malware used in this attack.
  • Separately, the tools used in the SPE attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North Korea.

 

U.S. Authorities: North Korea Was ‘Centrally Involved’ in Sony Hacking Attack

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

U.S. authorities believe the North Korean government was “centrally involved” in the recent hacking attacks on Sony Pictures because of anger over a comedy that was about to be released, the Boston Globe reports.

The determination by U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, coincided with Sony’s decision to cancel its release of “The Interview,” a controversial film about plotting to assassinate a fictional Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea.

The White House hasn’t yet determined whether to publicly accuse the country for its alleged roof.

Some officials are worrying about escalating tensions between the two counties.

Sony officials received a threat that “the world will be full of fear” if the film was released.

“Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time,” the threat added.

 

5 Extradited in Plot to Smuggle N. Korean ‘Breaking Bad’ Quality Meth into U.S.

By Michael Winter
USA Today

Five foreigners extradited from Thailand to New York have been charged with conspiring to smuggle Breaking Bad-quality methamphetamine that was produced in North Korea, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

The suspects — two from Britain and one each from Taiwan, the Philippines and Slovakia — were arrested in September as part of a sting operation that nabbed a former U.S. sniper instructor nicknamed “Rambo,” the alleged mastermind of a plot to import narcotics and kill a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent. They arrived in the United States on Tuesday night and were due in court Wednesday

U.S. authorities said two men — Ye Tiong Tan Lim and Kelly Allan Reyes Peralta — belonged to a Hong Kong crime syndicate that supplied the 99%-pure meth produced in North Korea. Last year, authorities in Thailand and the Philippines seized 30 kilograms — more than 60 pounds. That led to the DEA sting, during which the suspects allegedly agreed to provide confidential informants with 100 kilos of Hermit Kingdom meth that would be smuggled across the Pacific.

To read the full story click here.