One of Brian’s Favorite Quotes
My pro-life position is I believe there’s life. It’s not necessarily based in religion. I think there’s a life there, therefore the notion of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”
— George W. Bush (1946– )
Quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 23, 2001
Security Analyst: Sony Was ‘Nuked From Inside,’ Not N. Korea
A growing number of cyber-security experts say a company insider rather than a North Korean agent may be responsible for the hacking that crippled Sony pictures.
“We are very confident that this was not an attack masterminded by North Korea and that insiders were key to the implementation of one of the most devastating attacks in history,” said Kurt Stammberger, a senior vice president with the cyber-security company Norse.
Stammberger told CBS News that Norse believes it has identified the woman as someone calling herself “Lena” who worked for Sony in Los Angeles for a decade before leaving the company in May.
According to Stammberger, whenever Norse examines alleged North Korean links to the attack, “they turn out to be decoys or red
Sony, he said, “was essentially nuked from inside.”
The Daily Caller reported Friday that Stammberger’s analysis “joined a chorus of analyses by noted cyber-security researchers” casting doubt on FBI claims that North Korea is to blame for the Sony attack.
The hacking forced the company to limit the release to theaters of “The Interview,” a movie about bumbling reporters recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
The FBI said it linked Pyongyang to the cyber-attack based on the coding of the virus and the use of a global network of computers. Both were used in attacks on South Korea in the past two years.
But the kind of malware employed in the Sony attack is “commonly available and shared among hackers online, and the global network used to route the attack to Sony uses well-known way points for trafficking spam and viruses,” according to the Daily Caller.
“Coupled with that, further recent analyses by experts of the attacks cited by the FBI have concluded they were carried out by hackers with no direct link to Pyongyang.”
Shared DNA among malware is “hardly a smoking gun,” says cybersecurity expert Marc Rogers.
“The strength of this particular line of analysis weakens when you consider just how much sharing happens in the malware world,” wrote Rogers, chief of security for the hacker group called DEF CON.
“Many of these pieces of malware use publicly available tools and libraries. Many of these pieces of malware are based on malware source code that has been sold/released/leaked and is therefore accessible and easy to use. Finally, many of these pieces of malware are available for purchase,” Rogers said.
Rogers wrote earlier this week that he regards the evidence linking North Korea to the Sony attack to be “at best, speculation,” the Daily Caller reported.
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