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Tag: Sony

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 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.

Man Claims Threats to Media Following Sony Hack Was ‘Fake’ And He Was ‘Messing Around’

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A threat to the news media following the Sony hack may have been a hoax from a tweeter who was just “messing around,” ABC News reports.

The FBI and Homeland Security believed the threat was credible enough to include it in a join intelligence bulletin last week to law enforcement agencies.

The bulletin alleges the suspected Sony hackers, known as the Guardians of Peace, also threatened the news media for covering the hack.

But the FBI has backed off after a man from Tennessee said on Twitter that the threat was “fake” and that he was “just messing around.”

The FBI defended its decision to issue a bulletin about the threat that  wasn’t corroborated.

“As part of our commitment to public safety, the FBI routinely shares information with the private sector and law enforcement community,” an FBI spokesman said in a statement. “We take all threats seriously and will continue to disseminate relevant information observed during the course of our investigations, in order to help protect the public against any potential threats.”

 

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.

 

Hacking Attack on Sony Pictures Was Alarmingly Sophisticated, FBI Said

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The hacking attack on Sony Pictures was so sophisticated and unprecedented that most governments and companies could not have defended against it, Variety reports.

An FBI official gave an alarming assessment of the attack to a Senate Committee on Wednesday.

“The malware that was used would have slipped, probably would have gotten past 90% of the net defenses that are out there today in private industry, and I would challenge to even say government,” Joseph Demarest, assistant director of the FBI’s cyberdivision, told members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Federal officials are investigating whether there is a link to North Korea, where officials had been arguing against the release of the comedy “The Interview.”