So much for standing up to terrorists.
Bowing to the demands of hackers and handing them a major victory, Sony said Wednesday that it is pulling “The Interview” from movie theaters.
The movie, which was due to open on December 25, follows two American showbiz reporters offered the chance to interview Kim Jong Un. Before they leave, they are co-opted by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean leader.
Sony’s decision came a day after hackers released a database of emails belonging to Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment and with it a message threatening harm if the movie screening went ahead.
Two weeks after computers at Sony Pictures were taken offline by a major hack and just over a week since North Korea was mentioned as a suspect, the country’s state media has commented for the first time and denied any involvement in the attack.
In a report on Sunday, the Korean Central News Agency carried a statement from the National Defence Commission that also blamed South Korea for the suspicion.
It’s worth noting that the first report that mentioned North Korea as a suspect was published by Re/code, a San Francisco-based technology news website. South Korea doesn’t appear to have much to do More >
It’s a compelling story.
A month away from the release of Seth Rogen’s new movie “The Interview,” in which he plays a celebrity reporter sent to North Korea to interview Kim Jong Un and kill him, North Korea is so annoyed at the film that it has hacked into Sony Pictures and threatened to release corporate secrets.
It’s also most likely not true.
The story appears to have begun with Re/code, a technology news website, which reported on Friday “Sony Pictures Investigates North Korea Link In Hack Attack.”
“Sony Pictures Entertainment is exploring the possibility that hackers working on behalf of North Korea, perhaps operating out of China, may be More >
A former officer in South Korea’s military reserve has been arrested on charges of passing documents to a North Korea agent, according to South Korean media reports.
The individual, who was only identified as a 37-year old with the family name of “Jeon,” was arrested under the National Security Law for allegedly passing information to North Korea on five occasions between November 2011 and January 2013, said the Joong Ang Ilbo.
Jeon first made contact with an agent working for North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau in late 2011 when he was running an business that collected cyber money from online games, said The Korea Herald.
The Reconnaissance General More >
The games were offered through South Korean sites between May 19 and September 16 this year, the National Intelligence Service said in a report to parliament.
The apps have since been removed and the actual number of phones infected is unclear.
While phones were infected, the software doesn’t appear to have caused any damage but has left the phones vulnerable to eavesdropping and remote video taping, the reports said.
North Korea has often been blamed for cyber attacks on South Korean companies and More >
North Korea has roughly doubled the number of hackers it employs to conduct cyber-attacks, South Korea’s Yonhap News said on Sunday.
The news agency quoted an unidentified military source as saying North Korea “appears to have” 5,900 personnel for cyber-warfare, up from about 3,000 people two years ago.
Yonhap didn’t disclose how its source had access to the current information.
The South Korean government often uses anonymous leaks to put intelligence regarding North Korea into the public domain. It sometimes uses similar leaks to disclose false or unverified information for political purposes.
But the annual report to Congress on “Military and Security Developments Involving the DPRK” is also a lot more cautious in blaming North Korea for a series of recent cyber attacks that have targeted South Korea.
Unlike the statements and reports that comes from the South Korean government, the North’s capability to launch attacks isn’t even stated as a certainty by the DoD.
“North Korea probably has a military offensive cyber operations (OCO) capability,” it says in More >
The South Korean government says it suspects hackers in North Korea were behind a series of cyber attacks last month.
The attacks took place on June 25, the anniversary of the beginning of the Korean war, and continued for several days. When they began, several South Korean government and private-run websites were defaced or taken offline.
The main evidence behind the South’s accusations was the discovery of an IP address linked to North Korea and similarities in software code between the June 25 attack and previous attacks, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, said Tuesday.
IP addresses are unique numeric identifiers More >
A hacking group called “DarkSeoul” was behind some of this week’s attacks on South Korean websites, according to researchers at computer security company Symantec.
The company says the group was responsible for denial of service attacks on South Korean government websites and can be directly linked to similar actions in the past.
“We can now attribute multiple previous high-profile attacks to the DarkSeoul gang over the last 4 years against South Korea, in addition to yesterday’s attack,”Symantec said on its Security Response blog. “These attacks include the devastating Jokra attacks in March 2013 that wiped numerous computer hard drives at South Korean banks and television broadcasters, as well More >
Tuesday’s series of denial of service attacks on major North Korean websites caused delays and frustration for legitimate users but doesn’t appear to have been as large or successful as the first round of attacks in late March and early April this year.
Analysis by NorthKoreaTech.org of data related to the attacks shows the so-called “OpNorthKorea” mission was most successful during its first few hours and then appeared to slowly tail off.
Denial of service attacks involve firing off requests for pages to websites. If enough requests can be sent, the site ends up overloaded and no one gets anything. Success of More >