North Korea

Does Anybody Actually Believe North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack?


"What do you mean it wasn't me? It was! I demand the execution of all lizards!"
The Interview

The FBI may still be sure North Korea is responsible for the hacking that released all sorts of private information about the goings on at Sony Pictures, threats against the studio, and people who probably wouldn't have seen The Interview otherwise watching The Interview, but the skepticism out there is pretty thick.

Politico is reporting, and other media outlets are picking up, that cyber intelligence company Norse is saying the call is coming from inside the house, so to speak. They think a disgruntled former staff member may be involved. The intelligence firm met with the FBI to explain, but the FBI is sticking with its explanation:

"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."

The spokeswoman had no comment on further inquiries about the briefing and whether the FBI found Norse's case convincing.

A source who had been briefed on the FBI's investigation said the agency had considered an insider as a possible explanation for the attack, but it wasn't supported by the evidence.

The FBI won't comment further on an open investigation, referring questions to the initial update on the investigation the agency released 10 days ago. That unusual release cited similarities between the malware and infrastructure behind the Sony attack and previous attacks attributed to North Korea as well as technical links to known North Korean-developed malware.

Politico lists several independent security experts finding the arguments for the FBI's position to be pretty thin.

Over the Christmas holiday, a hacker group called Lizard Squad claimed to be responsible for cyberattacks that shut down Playstation's and Xbox's online services, affecting many, many gamers. Playstation is a Sony game console, and in an interview with The Washington Post, an alleged representative of the Lizard Squad claimed to have provided Sony employee logins to the Guardians of Peace, the group claiming responsibility for hacking the company, so that the infiltration could commence. But, of course, we don't know if any of that is true either.


NEXT: Critics: Annie's Blatant FDR Revisionism Doesn't Go Nearly Far Enough!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. They myth of the rogue black hat hacker bringing corporate America to its knees is nice and all, but it mostly isn’t true. Most really big hacks are inside jobs. If I had to bet, I bet someone inside Sony is responsible for this.

    1. I’m still going with my initial idea that it was the bigwigs at Sony – the Japanese Sony – that engineered the whole thing as some sort of sop to China to ease the tension over the Chinese throwing around their weight in the South China Sea. I’m still waiting for Obama to announce the sponsorship of multi-lateral talks on working things out amongst the Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Australians and any other affected parties – except for the Filipinos because Obama’s just got to fuck somebody over and everybody fucks the Filipinos.

      /tips tin-foil fedora

  2. The FBI won’t comment further on an open investigation, referring questions to the initial update on the investigation the agency released 10 days ago.

    Would someone *kindly* explain this? Wasn’t it “an open investigation” 10 days ago?

  3. I don’t know if it’s the Norks or not, but multiple news sources are referring to the Guardians of Peace as the GOP.

    1. NORse and NORth Korea. Coincidence?

    2. The GOP are guardians of the peace? And here I thought they were neocon war mongers all this time.

  4. I don’t believe anything one way or the other. What do I know?

    Actually, I think that North Korea is fictional. Come on, no place could be that ridiculous and cartoonishly evil.

  5. Donning my tinfoil head apparatus, I’m going to say that the FBI will continue to maintain it was DPRK behind the attacks. They will reveal in a few weeks that it was Edward Snowden that performed the hack for the Norks.

    1. Certainly – they would never admit to being wrong so they will make their initial conclusion “true” no matter what it takes.

      1. +1 Warren Commission.

  6. Does Anybody Actually Believe North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack?

    There’s a North Korea, you say?

    1. Yes, it’ one of them Koreas. The one most to the north.

  7. At best I thought it was a mercenary endeavor. I would have liked it to be a hack-for-hire scheme so all those 4chan douchebags would be exposed for the unprincipled louts they are.

    Is it just me, or are those fucking Comment Caching Squirrels of Doom at it again? I’ve had to clear my cache and re-login 5 times in the last 5 minutes just to post a goddamn comment.

    1. Yep, squirrel sighting confirmed. I had to log out and back in.

    2. Don’t blame squirrels. The commenting irregularities are the result of an unholy alliance of the Norks, 4chan, and Edward Snowden.

    3. Yeah, they are doing that thing they used to do at 3 PM every day.

      1. The squirrels only took a lengthy hiatus to lull us into a false sense of complacency while they were planning their ultimate attack.

  8. I never believed it from the beginning. I still think the Russians are the top most likely source.

  9. I would have said no, but Obama said they were and I know I can trust him on his word.

  10. I wrote an extensive article describing the irresponsibility of Obama by in effect threatening cyber war on N.Korea based on the skimpy evidence of the FBI. It is the USA that has the extensive internet infrastructure, both private and government, that makes legitimation of this a potential disaster.

    Here’s the link for those who want to explore what this could mean:…..-risk.html

  11. I still think it was the Norks, possibly with Chinese help. I don’t see why even a disgruntled insider would have released (e.g.) a bunch of Social Security numbers, medical records, etc. I think he’d have stuck with embarrassing emails, closely-guarded financial data, that sort of thing, to hurt the company, and not a bunch of employees directly.

    1. Russians. Putin, with that… look he has, what to call it?… ‘It wasn’t me, I’m innocent, can someone please pass the vodka?’. Or maybe it’s ‘Well, ok, it was me, I admit it, but what the fuck? I have nukes! So fuck you!’.

      Putin was a funny guy until that airliner was shot down over Ukraine, now I just pretty much want to see his head on a pike.

      1. OK, I’d make Putin my choice #2.

  12. Lizard Squad aren’t hackers. They just do DDOS attacks, which any 12 year old kid can do. At least if he’s a nerd.

    OTOH, this stole huge amounts of data. Terabytes. It’s not something some kid in his bedroom can pull out – nor something some guy stole with a thumbstick

  13. The two stories aren’t mutually exclusive. It could have been both a disgruntled insider AND North Koreans. The insider stole the accesses and then sold them, the North Koreans ended up being the party that bought them.

    1. reverse vampires…rand corporation….

  14. We should believe the FBI…because they’re such a credible and trustworthy organization?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.