The hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment has taken a turn for the worse, as evidence has turned up that suggests hackers have ransacked the networks of the high-profile studio, dumping everything from unreleased films to detailed business and employee records online. A spokesman for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) did not explicitly deny or take responsibility for the attack when contacted by the BBC, telling the British news agency that “the hostile forces are relating everything to [North Korea]. I kindly advise you to just wait and see.” Sony Pictures’ network was attacked using destructive “wiper” malware last week that stole and exfiltrated data from the company, then erased data on infected PCs and servers. An FBI FLASH alert sent to U.S. firms provided details on the malware, including its use of a hard-coded list of IP addresses and hostnames, and the inclusion of configuration files created on computers […]
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In-brief: The Washington Post reports that the Obama Administration will announce the creation of a new agency to coordinate intelligence about cyber attacks. The move is, in part, a response to confusion following the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in November.
The New York Times claims that the U.S. National Security Agency used intelligence gleaned from a clandestine operation to compromise North Korea’s cyber warfare unit to pin the blame for the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack on the reclusive Communist country. According to the story by David Sanger and Martin Fackler, the Obama Administration’s decision to quickly blame the hack on the DPRK grew out of a four year-old National Security Agency (NSA) program that compromise Chinese networks that connect North Korea to the outside world. The classified NSA program eventually placed malware that could track the internal workings of the computers and networks used by the North’s hackers and under the control of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, the North Korean intelligence unit, and Bureau 121, the North’s hacking unit, which mostly operates out of China. It has long been recognized that North Korea, which lacks a mature information technology infrastructure, does much of […]
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (21.4MB) | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Email | TuneIn | RSS | https://www.securityledger.com/subscribeWe’ve been writing a lot about the issue of cyber attribution in recent weeks, following the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November. That incident has become something of a Rorschach Test for those in the information security field: revealing as much about the individual attempting to explain the Sony hack as about the attack itself. Rid and a Ph.D student, Ben Buchanan, have authored a paper in the Journal of Strategic Studies. In their paper, Rid and Buchanan note that one of the biggest challenges of cyber attribution: bridging the technical and political or cultural issues that often surround cyber attribution. As Rid notes: the individuals doing the basic forensic work on the incident may not have a grasp of the larger cultural or political issues […]
The Director of the FBI James Comey offered his most direct retort to date to those who doubt the Bureau’s case against the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), saying that the hackers who pillaged Sony Pictures Entertainment were “sloppy” and revealed the source of the attack – IP addresses linked to the reclusive government, Ars Technica reports. Comey was speaking at ICCS, the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York City on Wednesday. He said that, while the Sony attackers largely concealed their identity by using proxy servers, on several occasions they “got sloppy” and connected directly to Sony’s network, revealing their own IP address in the process. Those slip-ups provided evidence linking North Korea to the attack on Sony’s network, he claimed. The IP address isn’t the only evidence, however. (Thankfully.) Comey also said that “analysts at the FBI found the patterns of writing and other identifying data […]