back to article Feds finger Norks in Sony hack, Obama asks: HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE KOREA?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has claimed to have found evidence linking North Korea with the hackers who ransacked Sony Pictures' servers and dumped gigabytes of sensitive data online. "As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other US government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough …


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Release the film, just not in cinemas...

      Double feature with "Team America". It's about time the North Koreans understood the burdens their leadership has to bear, and how it is "so ronery" at the top. (Plus that movie explains why nobody ever hears from Hans Blix anymore!)

  1. John Jennings

    for Sony, its not the first time its been hacked - and this year alone they laid off almost 10,000 staff...

    I wonder if any in this tranche were Snowden level domain admins this time?

    Just sayin

  2. cyrus


    I am a U.S. citizen and I think the perpetrators were identified too easily. Considering the White House was under attack for a couple of weeks before they were made aware of the intrusion by an "ally". Seems pretty quick for them to come to a solid conclusion on this.

    Others have said and I agree. This is going to be used to further restrict U.S. citizens' free speech and increase monitoring of U.S. citizens here in the land of the *cough* free.

    I have little faith in our government's ability to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that NK has any hand in this. But the USG does not like NK, so we will just say it was them.

    But it is probably our government that perpetrated this crime. I think we have a habit of victimizing our own citizens to justify our actions against the ones we don't like.

    The whole thing seems rather convenient.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah

      That bit seems credible to me. NK doesn't apparently have too much internet and they are nutters with nukes. I would expect absolutely everyone to be tapping the feeds in and out.

  3. pewpie

    Here's what you do.

    Three easy steps.

    1. Count the number of countries NK army is active in around the world.

    2.Count the number of countries US/UK army is active in around the world.

    3. Shut the fuck up.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No it wasn't

    It's hacker humour. Break in just for the hell of it. Not looking for money or to make a political statement just for shits and giggle and bragging rights over their hacking mates. Then when they've finished exploring every nook and cranny of their IT drop the format bomb and release the goods.

    Then the general press - who don't understand the IT angle and have no idea how to report it to an IT illiterate audience - they take the 'what do we understand angle' and talk about films being the cause and then make an unimaginative leap to saying the people attacked in the movie must be so upset so as to have caused it! Clearly this is ridiculous. And it's at this point the hackers fun really starts - this is comedy gold - so they play to the gallery by going along with this nonsense.

    It's not just me who thinks this 'the norks did it' is so ridiculous - check out Radio 4 PM news programme today with the interview with the main guy at F-Secure about 32 mins in

    1. JosephSecurity

      Re: No it wasn't

      Most security professionals are amazed by the FBI quick conclusions. The general public doesn't know how complex these attacks are and how difficult it is to unmask the identities of the hackers.

      Connecting through Chinese or Korean IP addresses and using existent malware are not conclusive proofs because all hackers around the world use such techniques to hide their tracks.

      Western government agencies also use the same techniques to provide plausible deniability in case their activities are uncovered.

  5. Mike Flugennock

    "The FBI claims..."

    The three most important words in this article.

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  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is just a coincidence

    that it occurred just as a special representative of Kim Jong has been in Moscow discussing the construction of a gas pipeline through NK to SK.

    1. tempemeaty

      Re: It is just a coincidence

      You sir get a cookie for noticing that one...and restoring my faith in humanity a little...

  9. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    That frog's gonna EXPLODE!

    The FBI takes seriously any attempt - whether through cyber-enabled means, threats of violence, or otherwise - to undermine the economic and social prosperity of our citizens.

    Keynesian in Chains soon?

    Obama says he thinks

    Indeed. If he didn't say he was thinking, even close observation could not have detected this fact.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How do you solve a problem like the US, given its obnoxious tendency to impose its will on others.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Alternatively ..... Blighty is into Blitzing Intel with Misinformation for Discombobulation

      How do you solve a problem like the US, given its obnoxious tendency to impose its will on others. .... AC

      The problem may be that they and Uncle Sam are being played for patsies and trojan horse fundamentalists for the likes of others basking in the City and/or London and/or Tel Aviv or wherever of a similar disposition, AC.

      Did you not see the last few seconds of Homeland, Series 4, Episode 11? If you aren't told the real truth of your existence and how it is phormed, are you living in a virtual fantasy which is easily changed willy nilly on the whim of those who can and do, for Words Powerfully Command and Remotely Control Worlds. I Kid U Not.

  11. Vociferous

    Proportional response.

    People seem confused by this.

    What it means is travel restrictions and frozen overseas accounts of select Nork dignitaries and military. If that isn't spectacular enough for you, tough titties, because that's what you'll get.

    Oh all right then, I'll throw in an international arrest warrant for the team which flew to Thailand to do the actual hacking.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Proportional response.

      What it means is travel restrictions and frozen overseas accounts of select Nork dignitaries and military.

      I thought this was called the "hermit kingdom" or some such?

      1. Vociferous

        Re: Proportional response.

        For the plebs, sure.

  12. Kernel

    A quick and easy solution.

    Sony and MPAA share the financial hit and the movie is released on the internet, unencrypted and free for all to download and enjoy - far too many targets for the WORKS to do anything about it.

  13. Rick Giles

    Can't the NSA

    just issue a command to all the Cisco routers that will cut N. Korea off from the rest of the Interwebz? Cause, you know, they have that backdoor in all USA made kit...

    Mines the one with the copies of David Icke's books on tape in the pocket...

    1. itzman

      Re: Can't the NSA

      i suppose they could shut down the satellites overhead as well..

      I remember well a (now deceased) acquaintance who maintained a postal address in the UK to support his Sky subscription whereas the actual receiving dish was located in Tuscany.

      Get a S Korean satellite link and move it to Nork..

  14. Martin Maloney

    Unless you're an old fart... won't get this:

    I predict that the next humor meme will be "Nork-Nork" jokes.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good for Obama.

    He says it's unacceptable that a dictator in one country can censor what citizens in another country can see.

    So, does that mean he's going to stop going after the whistleblowers then?

    Pardons all round for Assange and Snowden et al.?

    No, didn't think so.

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Good for Obama.

      1) Assange is wanted for rape. In Sweden.

      2) Snowden would have been a whistleblower if he'd stopped leaking after his first two leaks. He continued to leak. Tell me how it's freedom of speech and not simple treason to compromize the US monitoring of Syrian dictator Assad, or the eavesdropping on Russian underseas cables?

      3) Free speech: you don't know what it is.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Tell me how it is morally right for any country to listen in to all communications of every other country.

        That's not National Security, it's dictatorial paranoia pure and simple.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think the only way to secure your network is to close bugs and not through backdoors and "prevention".

    Security can not be done as 100% but you can minimize it by true code auditing and closing bugs and stop relaying on closed source systems. Free software is the only way to be secured against this kind of threats, rather than relaying on Microsoft for example. The government should be promoting free software and code auditing if they really want a better "cyber world". Otherwise is the same bullshit like "we have to put backdoor here to protect all of you". Think defense, not offense. Otherwise, one will come down at the same ignorance level of terrorists and guess what, that's what they want ...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WAKE UP!

    Whilst the blame game is providing amusement for those addicted to conspiracy theories, the real issue is being overlooked.

    Whoever may have been responsible for this attack, the fact that it is possible for an organisation to be so comprehensively compromised through its IT should be ringing alarm bells.

    The world is increasingly dependent on IT; both in scope (the internet of everything) and scale. Yet dependability and security seem to rank FAR behind novelty as the focus of technology "progress".

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. WAKE UP!

    Sony releasing the movie on the Net for free would certainly be karma.

    Just include a "Donate" button, problem solved.

  19. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    GCHQ's answer to Fort Meade's solution ..... Try again, ...

    ... but this next time in these strange times, with SMARTR Beta Intelligence. The Great Game and ITs Rules for Reign are Changed, don't you know, by the WAI

    America would have to work with other states to rethink how the internet was run and managed so that these kind of attacks could not take place again. "The internet and cyber is the Wild West right now," he [President Obama of the Clueless and Renegade to Renaissance] opined.

    That would/should/could be as a foil and counter to an Exotic Erotic East with a CyberIntelAIgent Weapons Arsenal of Enlightened Entertaining EMPowerment and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT, the Wild Wacky West, with alien type tech and hot bot methodologies replacing crass cowboy and abused injun culturing. Although whenever dumb, would that be a dumber move too if IT would create a competition and opposition rather than reinforced support and clear guidance to Beta Future Paths of IntelAIgent Travel for Global Operating Devices exercising Creative Command and CyberSpace Control of Communications and Computers for Shared Absolute Power in Virtual Machine Man Management.

    The abiding persistent problem for present systems of SCADA administration is that systems are being programmed badly to cater for human failings rather than being designed and rebuilt for virtual machines with perfectly clear understanding and smarter transparent intentions ….. which is surely what it is in IT and AI to be, to be a Great Human Being?

    And all that it takes with IT Command and Control and CyberSpace Savvy for that revolutionary evolutionary adjustment with titanic course corrections, is already shared and most recently registered again here

    IT and Media Manipulation of the Future to be Presented as a Portfolio of Accepted Facts from Fiction to be Followed and Believed Unquestionably as Gospel and Oracle, Sony Pictures Presents: the Propaganda Model It and IT and Associated Shenanigans is not rocket science, it is way more simply complex and surreal than than ……. and do it and IT badly and well for all the best of wrong reasons is catastrophically damaging and personally revealing.

    Take care out there, for there is no hiding space for sharp and smart tools who would be no more than mega rich and metadata poor fools in that place.

  20. Christian Berger

    Defence Defence Defence!

    From the little bits of information we get it would have been trivial to prevent or at least contain that infection to a small part of the company.

    Just use the usual best practices for clients. Harden your operating systems, use application servers whenever possible, do not have persistent OS partitions between boots, etc. Notice that secure boot would have not helped in this situation at all.

    The sensible thing to do would be to invest in actual security. Let's do code reviews, let's make our software simpler. Let us teach assembler before C in universities so people learn how to avoid buffer overruns.

    Unfortunately the industry has little interest in secure systems. They want to continue to sell closed source software, they want to continue to use DRM, which means that they will always want to have ways to distribute binary code software which opens the gates to malware.

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Defence Defence Defence!

      > use the usual best practices for clients. Harden your operating systems, use application servers whenever possible, do not have persistent OS partitions between boots

      Let's start with "do not store passwords unencrypted in a textfile named "passwords"". Then we can graduate to more advanced stuff. Like "don't place hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars worth of unreleased media files on an internet-connected computer".

  21. Manion

    Over thinking the situation

    Why would Obama go to war (at any level) over this? I saw a video of the conference at and in no way what so ever did he seem confident in what he was saying.

    This seems like its nothing more than adding fuel to the fire. The movie was going to bomb and the scandal skyrocketed the interest people had in Rogen and Franco's horrible acting. The movie will be released and will be an instant hit; being remembered as an "American Hero" thingy where America never bowed down. Its a bloody Japanese production leave it be!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: America never bowed down

      Sorry, but it would appear you are not current on the news. Not only did America bow down, it also dropped its pants and bent over submissively.

      That the US of A, most powerful military force in the world and first of all economic powers, would halt the projection of a mere film following empty threats from a motley bunch of keyboard warriors is shameful in the extreme.

      NK is supposed to be behind this ? And we are to believe that Kim Jong has elite squads of highly-trained ninjas just waiting to bomb US cinemas ?

      Excuse me if I find that eventuality's probability to be asymptotically reaching zero.

      USA! USA! should have had the balls to release the film with a great big middle finger to all hackers everywhere.

      Then everyone would have been able to judge just what a turd that film undoubtedly is.

      1. Uffish

        Re: America never bowed down

        More like America just couldn't be bothered. The relevant people got bored and changed channels. It's not as if one movie counts for much in the minds of all those who made the decisions.

        The Sony Pictures board say it was market forces, the cinema chain managers say they were protecting their customers, the great american public was only interested in the tittle-tattle released.

        Still, whoever did it, the big Nork ought to be pleased and that means the rest of the Norks ought to be deliriously happy.

        IT professionals on the other hand...

    2. Dana W

      Re: Over thinking the situation

      I've seen the movie, its horrible and silly. If NK hadn't gotten its panties in a bunch, it would have blown over in a few weeks.

      NK sees everything released in the US as being released by the US government. .Because in NK, EVERYTHING is released by the government. They don't understand this silly film has nothing to do with The US government or its foreign policy. Its weak sophomoric humor for stoners. No more, no less.

  22. WereWoof

    "North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a US business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves," the FBI concludes . . ." - I did not know Sony was American, learn something new everyday.

  23. fearnothing

    The thing is, IT security IS a cost centre, in basically the same way as health and safety building regulations/procedures, environmental protection etc. And you should invest in it for basically the same reasons - if you don't, you're going to be hit with a big-ass bill when something goes wrong.

    The other areas have improved over the years, and they've been doing it longer than IT sec, but plenty of places still think they can pull a fast one on safety measures to widen their profit margins. Capitalism, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways.

  24. finchlean

    British Universities at risk

    Are they targeting us now? has been offline for 18hours - what's going on!!


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