What a difference a week makes. The Christmas Day release of “The Interview” is back on and Sony has already begun offering the movie online.
The movie, a comedy in which two TV reporters embark on a secret mission to kill Kim Jong Un, appeared on YouTube and Google Play on December 23 at 1pm ET. It costs $5.99 to rent for 48 hours and $15 to own.
Google said that it was first approached by Sony on December 17, on the same day that is announced it would More >
North Korea’s powerful National Defense Commission responded with its first statement on the Sony hack and accusations by the U.S. that it was responsible. The statement was read out on Voice of Korea, the country’s international shortwave radio service, and makes interesting listening.
It’s not exactly the same as the text statement that was carried on KCNA and appears to be a slightly different translation.
The most noticeable thing about the statement is how much the NDC appears to be picking up from cues in the U.S. media. Many of its arguments are similar to those being debated in public:
- Killing a head of state, More >
North Korea’s Internet connection with the world has returned to service after a nine and a half hour outage that followed hours of patchy performance.
The cause of the outage is unknown, although several experts think it was probably due to an external distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This involves flooding web servers and other Internet hardware with so much traffic that they become overloaded and cannot respond to legitimate traffic. It’s not an actual hack of the system and so the situation is normalized soon after the DDOS flow of traffic stops.
Dyn Research provided this graph of the attack that shows More >
If you’ve been trying to connect to North Korean Internet sites in the last 24 hours, you might have been unsuccessful.
Connectivity between North Korea and the rest of the world has been spotty for much of the time, according to Dyn Research.
Look at the graph below. Each period of purple corresponds to an outage on North Korea’s Internet connection.
Is this related to all that’s been going on in the last few days? Possibly. North Korea’s Internet connection does suffer from periodic outages, so it could be something as mundane as network maintenance or a failing router.
On the other hand…
“I haven’t seen such More >
It’s been a busy few days for North Korea watchers. After a couple of weeks of no solid news on the Sony hack, the FBI has finally released a few details from its preliminary investigation
That’s great news because there has been a lot of confused reporting on the case. The leaks from the FBI have generally come through national security reporters, not computer security reporters, so we’ve seen a number of differing claims:
There was general confusion about the common hacker practice of routing traffic through compromised machines in other countries. Here are some headlines from last week:
- Evidence in Sony hack attack More >
Whether North Korea is behind the hacking of Sony or not, it’s certainly not too pleased with the movie and doesn’t want it shown. Sony pulled the movie from theaters and said Sunday it’s figuring out a video-on-demand related. In the meantime, here are a few move videos that Pyongyang probably doesn’t like too much: This report, from the CBS show “60 Minutes,” interviews Shin Dong-hyuk. He was born in “Camp 14,” a North Korean labor camp, and managed to escape to tell the tale of the horrors of North Korea’s gulags.
Sky News goes to South Korea to talk to North More >
North Korea has reacted angrily to U.S. assertions that it was behind a devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures.
[UPDATE: The TV announcement is below the English statement]
The official state-run news agency carried a statement from the country’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday that promised “serious consequences” if a joint investigation with the DPRK doesn’t tale place.
It’s not the first time this year the country has demanded a joint investigation into international allegations against it. In May, the country wanted such after it was accused of responsibility for three drones found crashed in South Korea near the shared border with North Korea. The country More >
Just as President Obama’s news conference was wrapping up, the State Department news conference was beginning.
The questions were a little more detailed, as you’d expect from reporters who understand the ins and outs of U.S. foreign relations so well. They centered around the option of putting North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terror and what effect that might have. And they also came back to the issue of whether State Dept. officials saw the movie before and signed off on the scenes.
The reporters reference a letter sent by Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to Secretary More >
Hours after the FBI fingered North Korea as responsible for the cyber attack on Sony, President Obama spoke at his year-end news conference. The first question asked was regarding the Sony hack and his response to the news of North Korea’s involvement. The president spoke forcefully and strongly about Sony’s decision to pull the movie, what it means for freedom and speech and then onto broader cyberspace themes.
I’ve reproduced some of the key quotes below, and here’s the full video:
“Sony is a corporation, it suffered significant damage, there were threats against its employees. I am sympathetic to the concerns that More >
The FBI has blamed North Korea for the massive cyber attack on Sony.
Here’s the agency’s statement in full:
Today, the FBI would like to provide an update on the status of our investigation into the cyber attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). In late November, SPE confirmed that it was the victim of a cyber attack that destroyed systems and stole large quantities of personal and commercial data. A group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace” claimed responsibility for the attack and subsequently issued threats against SPE, its employees, and theaters that distribute its movies.
The FBI has determined that the intrusion into More >